|The Nugget Creek route in Little Belts|
As we skied Nugget Creek in the Little Belts Wednesday we could punch our poles through the various layers to the ground.
The snow on the bottom, deposited in December, just never set up because of the bitter-cold weather.
That was followed by more snow that was encased in the ice from a hard Chinook melt and some rain. Then this week's powder ---- more than a foot over three days ---- Sunday to Wednesday and more coming.
This is the oddest ski season I've encountered.
|On Mizpah Ridge below Mizpah Peak (Gordon Whirry photo)|
Nugget Creek is the Wayne Phillips' created alternative to the Porphyry/Ranch Creek run. We call it simply "High Porphyry" or "Nugget Creek."
Once Ranch Creek headwall is reached, instead of dropping to the road, Nugget Creek ascends a 300 foot ridge and then drops south and east ultimately to Highway 89 at Mile Marker 123.
It covers 10.3 miles, rises 1,700 feet and drops nearly 2,900 feet. It starts at Kings Hill Pass, goes up Showdown Ski area to the top of Porphyry Peak, across the ridge to Mizpah and then on to the Ranch Creek headwall.
Yes, we got some turns in and enjoyed a gorgeous, if cold and snowy winter day, but the snow was weird.