Monday, January 01, 2018

Beginning a Happy 2018 with Kings Hill summit climb; 29 below in Great Falls, 15 above Kings Hill

The best way to bring in a New Year

Trees flocked from the new snow

The view from the Kings Hill summit looking back at Showdown Ski Area
The weather was minus 29 at the house this morning that began the New Year 2018.
After a call to my Mother in Chicago to wish her a happy 92nd birthday, I began plotting how to bring the New Year in properly with a backcountry ski.
I decided to head to the Kings Hill area when I found that it would be about 15 degrees ABOVE zero, while it wouldn't get to zero in Great Falls.
My plan was for a short ski ---- from Kings Hill Pass in the Little Belts to the top of Kings Hill mountain and its 8,009 feet summit, about a 650 feet climb of just over a mile up.  I used the Deadman Road, skied across the top, and teled down the ridge back to the pass.
The snow was easy to handle because it had been hit by wind and settled, making trail-breaking no task at all.  In fact, there was a wind crust in spots.
It was 21 degrees in Monarch and about 8 above at the Belt turnoff.  As I neared where the old BarS restaurant was on the outskirts of Great Falls the temperature was minus 8 and stayed that way until I got home.
This has been a very cold Christmas stretch.  But, man, has it been beautiful.  Bright sunshine, sparkling snow.  This was like a Christmas the way I remembered them 40 years ago.
A young snowboarder shows me his "Powder Surfer" board that doesn't have bindings

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