Thursday, February 23, 2017

Habeggers Again

I got out for a short tour with my friend Anne S. yesterday. With moderate to heavy snowfall and very strong winds reported we decided to go for a safe and sheltered area. Habegger's fit the bill - again.

The storm was still winding down in the high country.

Sure enough there was plenty of evidence of the high winds.

The cross loaded slopes on Table Mountain were dramatic.

 Wind sculpted snow on the ridge above the glades.

The wind packed snow on the ridge made for fairly easy travel.

Light flurries rolled in as we neared the top.

The glades skied better than expected. We enjoyed a few inches of light snow over a denser base.

We were concerned about avalanche hazard. The snow pack was certainly "up side down" (i.e. dense snow over a less dense layer), but there were no shooting cracks and no whumping. Stomping on rollovers produced no results either.

Skiing in wind exposed area was a smorgasbord of supportable wind board, breakable wind crust, a little fluff over a dense base (like in the glades), and a very funky melt/freeze crust where the wind had stripped all of the new snow.

Beautiful day. Glad we got out.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Anniversary Road Ride

Yesterday was Mary's and my anniversary so we celebrated 12 years of togetherness with a road ride out to Round Valley.

Quiet roads and big views.

Mild temps for the most part too.

Spectacular Round Valley.

Mt Tom and Pine Creek.

After a couple of hours Mary headed in and I headed up. To Plant 4.

and the sweet little climb beyond.

Felt great to get back in the saddle and even greater to spend some QT with my wonderful wife!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


After a day of sitting around the house watching it rain I was itching to get out. With a lot of recent snowfall I decided to be conservative and tour in pretty mellow terrain.

What an amazing day. The mid layer clouds rolled in and out making for beautiful scenery.

The big one appeared like an apparition.

More mood.

These glades skied well. Took two runs in here.

Headed up to the ridge where the snow was a bit wind affected, but the views were stupendous.

The turns off the ridge weren't bad, just a little heavy so I had to point 'em down.

The lower glades were great though.

What a day. Breaking trail was tough work in 18" to 24" of new snow, but hard work pays!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rock Creek

Went for a pleasant tour in Rock Creek Canyon with three folks I had not skied with before, Mike, Clancy and Jess and one fine dog, Murphy.

The road is not groomed due to avalanche hazard, but there is a groomed trail to the lodge. Buried!
We hopped up onto the moraine to the east of the canyon where the views opened up.

 Then we skinned up through very enticing glades.

 Mike breaks trail.

Got up to a point with grand views and enjoyed lunch.

Mike and Murphy drop in.

Mike drops a knee.

Murphy and I were the only ones who didn't tele!

Clancy enjoys the powder which was pushing knee deep in here.

Real fun zone.

Good times with good folks. They made me a little nostalgic for the good old tele days!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tungstar Bowls

Today Ben and I headed up Tungstar Bowl 1 in Pine Creek.

Many of the lower slopes and gullies were filled with old avalanche debris.

 The skinning didn't get much easier with a few inches of fluff over a very firm base.

The skinning gradually improved as we got higher.

We turned around kinda early. I was pooped from the weekend and Ben wanted to prep for Valentine's day. Still a lot of goodness above us!

Had a nice spot to snack and transition to downhill mode.

The first turns were definitely the best turns.

The lower we got the more we were feeling that firm base while skiing. Still pretty decent skiing though.

Felt great to be up in the mountains again!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Saline Valley Bike Tour

Something different! An overnight bike tour out in the desert.

We staged up near the Eureka Dunes under a leaden sky which was prone to sprinkling on us.

The weather wasn't dampening Zak's enthusiasm.

Chris and Tyler make their final checks before rolling.

My rig (borrowed) ready to roll.

Sprinkles turned to showers here and there. Wetting but not soaking us, fortunately.

Up high near Steel Pass the wind and the wet were pretty chilling. Tyler persists.

Adrian begins the long descent into Saline Valley.

 We had to take a quick stop to check out Marble Bath. Classic desert weirdness.

Cold lunch.

The showers halted and the temps rose as we descended.

Wonderful desert scenery.

Fun riding for the most part too. Tyler flying.

Adrian's grin got bigger and bigger as we approached the hot springs.

We took a brief stop at the highest springs. These are essentially unimproved and fenced off to prevent the burros from destroying the habitat.

Zak rolls into the upper hot springs.

One of the soaking pools at the upper springs.

We opted to camp at the lower spring because there's more shelter from the wind.

We enjoyed a beautiful evening soaking, telling stories, and feeling grateful. The winds did come up overnight but were not too strong.

We had a little trouble with food stealing burros and coyotes. Nothing too major.

Glorious morning at camp.

Looking back up the valley we descended.

 Then we hopped on the bikes and pedaled back up and over Steel Pass.

I put the phone/camera away and focused on the riding.
A cool headwind kept the body comfortable, but slowed progress.

After nearly four hours of climbing we reached the pass. Another hour of descending got us to the cars tired but not shattered. Elated.

Great stuff!