Thursday, December 28, 2017

Frigid, windy Deadman tele trip

Frosted trees 

Returning after a tele turn
The snow we didn't see last year has finally arrived.
The powder is spectacular and promises to get better.
The only mitigating factors were the wind, which continues to pummel us, and numbing cold.
Two of us, Gordon Whirry and myself, showed up Wednesday for one of Wayne's Wild Walks minus an ailing Wayne.
Since Jasmine Krotkov had already broken trail part-way up the Deadman trail and about a foot of new powder had fallen in the past week, we decided to take advantage of her work.
What we hadn't counted on was that winds had drifted in much of the track and even drifted in our own new track before the return trip.
In town the temperatures were struggling to reach zero and had been in the minus 20 degree range for a couple of days, so we were shocked when on the way our temperature gauge shot up to 29 degrees above between Monarch and Neihart in the Little Belts.
However, by the time we reached our trailhead at Kings Hill Pass, the temperature was about 15 degrees and icy winds cut through us and threw up wind devils and white-outs which accompanied us on the trip.
The sky hung dark, threatening clouds over the Showdown ski area, shrouding Porphyry Peak.  With the wind and cold I couldn't imagine hanging on a chair lift.  I don't care how good the snow was.
The trees were frosted with snow and limbs hung heavily under the weight.
The snow was about perfect;  deep and set up on a great base.
When we reached the open meadows just east and north of the Deadman bowls we stopped and played, practicing and taking turn after telemark turn.
Including the yo-yo turns, we covered 5 miles and gained and lost 1,700 feet.
I'm glad we resisted the urge not to confront the cold and wind.
Earlier in the week I set down classic cross country tracks in the Mountain View Charlie Russell Park and skied three other times in great powder on bluebird days in sunlight that made the snow sparkle like diamonds.
Climbing out

Climbing the Deadman trail

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