|Mark Hertenstein on the ridge top|
|Some of the elk that crossed our path|
|The ridge top was a winter wonderland|
Mainly we've skied First and Third gulches to the west of Highway 200 not far from the Meadow Creek Road, bypassing the much larger and inhabited Cadotte Creek that runs northeast toward Cadotte Pass on the Continental Divide Trail.
Mark Hertenstein suggested we give it a try Sunday and in doing so opened ourselves to a smorgasbord of new skiing. In the past we had avoided the area because of the private inholdings.
A parking area is plowed out where Cadotte Road meets Highway 200.
We did a 6-mile loop on Sunday, gaining about 1,600 feet, mostly off-trail, but on some logging roads.
This area has been extensively logged.
It holds snow well most of the time and there are terrific, vast areas for making turns.
Unfortunately, the wind and sun had hit this area during our recent Chinook, wind-hardening the snow. We skinned immediately to the north and east and before long were on a ridge line above the East Fork of Cadotte Creek.
We noticed that there were a tremendous number of animal tracks and were soon treated to about a herd of about 30 elk that plowed their way through deep snow across our path. It was quite a treat!
On top the sun came out briefly, turning the ridge top to a winter wonderland. From here we were able to look around at the many trip possibilities before heading down through the trees to the East Fork, where we sked back to the Cadotte Road. From there we explored a couple of logging roads for future reference and then got on a main logging road that took us back to Highway 200.
|Surveying some tele slopes|