Sunday, January 13, 2019

Welcoming in a New Year. Worries about snowpack already

Mark Hertenstein looks down on Sun River from ridge west above Hannan Gulch

Looking back up the gulch toward Grassy Mountain

This is why they call the mountain "Castle" Reef.  In the alpine glow.

I haven't posted for nearly two months, but that doesn't mean I wasn't out and about.
The holidays, travel and family concerns kept me busier than I wanted to be and I had to let this go.
In that period, there were several more ski trips in the Little Belts and travel to California, where we hiked on Christmas Day in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento and then HIKING (?!) in the Rocky Mountain Front in mid-January.
I'm getting very concerned about our lack of snow, particularly in the Rocky Mountain Front.
We took our backcountry skis to the Front on Saturday and ended up abandoning them for hiking boots.  We scaled ridge lines on both sides of Hannan Gulch and enjoyed tremendous views of the Sun Canyon area.
On Wednesday our Wayne's group broke the upper portions of O'Brien Creek and followed the feint tracks of someone who had skied the area before nine inches of powder had fallen.  When we hit it the sun had already softened it, requiring us to reapply glide waxes several times to prevent clumping.  Down below the Showdown hill, snow is sparse and not in good shape.
In California the drought persists.  I regularly visit Folsom Lake and have never seen the reservoir this low.  The fires were north of there in Paradise.  Sure hope they don't sweep up this pretty area.

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