Friday, December 30, 2022

A cold, white Ranch Creek ski to conclude 2022

An iconic image, Porphyry Lookout in winter above Showdown Ski Area

Gordon Whirry coming off Mizpah Peak

At the half-way point, the Mizpah shelter

Whirry ascends steep pitch one laborious sidestep after another

This ski trip will conclude an exceptionally active hiking and skiing season.

Our day was cold and clear, with temperatures at 15 degrees, colder in the trees and warmer in the bright sunlight that broke out around lunch break.

We were concerned that the post-Christmas warmup might have ruined the snow, but those concerns were erased by a couple inches of new powder that had fallen overnight.

We were lucky that someone had skied to about the half-way point at the Mizpah bowls, which gave us a nice track and a guide around the many downed trees and tangles.

About 30 percent of the trip was in powder that would occasionally collapse under our feet, but the other 70 percent was ideal snow.

The overnight snowfall made the 10-mile trip into a white, winter wonderland against a deep, blue sky.

The last couple of miles, where the snowmobile trail intersects with the cross country trail, was a tad rough unpleasant because the snowmobile tracks had been churned and frozen. 

There were lots of signs of big animals, probably elk and moose, which had been moving around.

I prefer the adjacent Nugget Creek route, but this ski trip was just fine.



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