Thursday, March 08, 2018

Sunshine, bluebird skies make for snow mush on Jumping Creek

Gerry Jennings enjoys some downhill

The snow on the cabin is an example of our snowfall this winter 

Lots of stopping to scrape snow and reapply waxes

An example of the mush we went through when doing our tele-turns
I've never been much of a fan of the new Jumping Creek run that runs across the top of the Porphyry/Mizpah Ridge in the Little Belts and descends to Highway 89 near the Jumping Creek Campground.
I've done this twice as a ski and once as a hike and have encountered problems each time.
Our Wednesday trip was no different.
What promised to be a sun-filled day got ugly about half-way through this 8.5 mile backcountry ski as sun penetrated the snow, softening it and making skiing without snow-clumping nearly impossible.
There's about 1,700 feet of elevation gain on this trip and 2,700 feet of loss, which should have provided us with interesting terrain variation and plenty of tele-turns.
Instead, we spent too much time scraping snow, and re-waxing, while carrying around tons of weight on the bottom of our skis.
It made turns difficult in the mash-potato snow.
At points there was wind-glaze that made the downhill suicidal and lots of trees for a dangerous obstacle course.
The course was just fine to the Mizpah cabin, but difficult from there on.
The sunlight and blue skies compensated somewhat.  Also, the company, our retireds from the Wayne's Wednesday Walks group, with members ranging from 78 to 60.  Our two oldest members, Chuck and Gerry Jennings, 78 and 77 are absolute marvels.
The snow looked great, but that was deceptive.  Yes, we've had great amounts, but the base was uneven.
My feeling is you can get the same highlights by taking the same route to either Nugget or Ranch Creek runs.
Save yourself the bother from there.

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