Sunday, January 10, 2016

Rogers Pass powder

Skiing just below the ridge line kept us out of the wind

Views of the Continental Divide Trail

Skiing across the top before heading down, we encountered snow ghosts
Once again, the winds howled on the Plains, so we headed to the West side at Rogers Pass for a ski near the Continental Divide Trail.
We found passable snow right off the pass and headed up a creek bottom directly south aiming for a ridge line below Rodgers Peak.
It had been a number of years since we had skied this bottom, and I don't remember it being so steep.  We skinned all the way, gaining nearly 1,300 feet, zig-zagging our way to the top. Near the top we reached an area that had been frosted by snow the night before, prettily flocking the trees.
On top, we skied the ridge line in the forest to stay out of the driving wind.
We were in a fairyland with the flocked trees, a bright, sunny day, and fabulous vistas in every direction;  to the north, Red Mountain the highest point in the Scapegoat, to the south, the Continental Divide Trail snaking its way, the mountains of southwestern Montana to the east and south, and the Lincoln country to the west.
After lunch and some time enjoying the scenery, we telemark skied directly down through the trees and back to the pass, encountering some steep and icy slopes at points, but also some buttery snow that was easy to cut.
I remain amazed that this country sees very few winter visitors.  It is about the same distance to this pass from Great Falls (65 miles), as the heavily used Kings Hill Pass in the Little Belts near Neihart.
We laid down the first tracks.
This CDT country is far more scenic.
We skinned up and proceeded up the stream bottom

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