Monday, December 18, 2017

Exploratory in Mizpah Creek headwaters

Skiing up the abandoned logging road paralleling Sheep Creek 
The Mizpah bowls come into view

Mark Hertenstein took the opportunity to cut turns
Sunday was a gawd-awful windy day in the Little Belts.
But, there had been a fresh dump of snow in the Kings Hill area and the sun was shining.
We were looking for any kind of shelter from the wind we could find.  So, that ruled out the ridge lines.
We opted for an exploratory in the Mizpah Creek headwaters below the bowls, just south of Showdown Ski Area.
Some 40-50 years ago there was extensive logging in this area and it has grown over, but sketchy roads exist, many of them obliterated by some open enough to ski.
The winds were howling, but we got into the Sheep Creek drainage that parallels U.S. 89 and skied to its Mizpah tributary, dodging snags and large trees cut across the "road" to make travel difficult. 
We found the travel difficult.
Where open to the wind the snow was scoured.  Wherever sheltered, the snow was a rich powder with a great base, just as we found on the Mizpah bowls a week previous.
It became tiresome stepping over the downed trees.
This will be a great place to ski after more snow buries them.
It was a short day, 3.5 miles and about 850 feet of elevation gain, but we were out nearly four hours and the area, where snowmobiles are banned, was quiet and gorgeous.

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