As I mentioned in the previous blog, the plan for the day was to leave camp set and take a day tour up the Red Creek drainage between Red Peak and Grey Peak.
It was a great pleasure to ski without the heavy packs on our back!
We quickly rose above Grayling Lake on one of several fine, open ski slopes.
After the initial steepish slope we entered the big, gentle valley.
This is the view northwest to the back side of Half Dome.
Steve begins crossing the largest lake in the drainage.
There was lots of snow and some pretty nice ski lines up valley.
Most of the north facing slopes held wind and/or sun affected snow and the south facing slopes weren't much more attractive, so we stuck to moderate slopes and headed for the shallow notch left of center.
The views from the notch were unbelievable!
A zoom shot to the Minarets.
Ritter and Banner.The twin peaks of MacClure and Lyell.
The unzoomed view to the northeast. The twin peaks of MacClure and Lyell are left of center and Ritter & Banner are far right. Much of our route is visible from the shoulder of Lyell traveling to the right below the peaks, and down into the trees to the far right (click to enlarge).
The view to the northeast with Mt. Starr King (mid field, left), the top of Yosemite Falls (mid field center) and Half Dome (mid field right).
Steve and I relaxed at the pass for quite a while soaking in the sun and the views. The big north wall of Red Peak looms behind Steve.
The turns off the notch were pretty good with about two or three inches of slightly cooked snow over a solid crust.
The snow got a bit thick lower down, but still provided for easy turning all the way.
After dinner we headed out for an evening stroll as the low clouds drifted in and the light grew soft.
More great ski terrain!
This is the view up the valley we skied, with Grey Peak on the left.
We came across relatively fresh bear tracks. These tracks from the cubs were only about the size of a half dollar.
Here are Mom's tracks along with the cubs' tracks. It is a little hard to tell, but their path was a bit steep here and you can see where the cubs slipped and scrambled to get up (as always - click to enlarge!).
Steve was totally chill.
Another view of camp.
That was surely a most satisfying day!