Friday, November 13, 2015

Shoulder season: a taste of winter

We had Showdown Ski Area all to ourselves!

On the old cross country trail

Looking east toward Yogo Peak above the Golden Goose ski run
Often we're backcountry skiing by now.
Although we've had a blast or two of snow, we haven't gotten enough to ski, much less snowshoe.
So, on our weekly Wayne's Wednesday Wild Walks we headed to King's Hill in the Little Belts, hoping for snowshoeing or skiing in some fresh powder that had fallen two days earlier.
Although there was some snow, we were sadly mistaken that there was enough for winter sports and had to be satisfied with a hike in the white stuff.
A pleasant lunch
In a couple of spots we found ski-able or shoe-able snow, but even there we could walk through it in our hiking boots.
We did an exploratory on a route that I had tried in January on skis, essentially heading up the Porphyry Lookout Road from the pass, and then dropping down to the Moose Creek Road, finally finding a ridgeline where Forest Service Trail 747 is supposed to be.  I say that because it doesn't look like the trail is cut yet, but there are plenty of yellow ribbons tied to the trees marking a route to the Porphyry-Mizpah Ridge.
The weather was plenty cold ---- about 15-20 degrees most of the day, but the sun broke out at times and we had a pleasant experience, covering 4.2 miles and gaining 1,100 feet.
For routes, maps and more photos:


A quiet descent down Golden Goose several weeks before the skiers arrive

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