Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ski season is back

Unable to hide my excitement after the first run.
I had a great day on skis at Bridger, and while the terrain was not particularily new or exciting, the snow was good, and it was rewarding to be able to put in a solid day of yo-yo skiing.  After leaving the car in sub zero temperatures, I quickly climbed into the sun, and was able to avoid the worst of the frigid day by skiing sunlit aspects. The warm Thanksgiving temperatures followed by a shot of overnight snow made for good boot top powder on a surprisingly solid and rock free base. I didn't dig a pit, but with all the recent avalanche activity, it seemed like a no brainer to stay off anything too steep.

Looking down a new-to-me tree lane on the Thumb.
Surprisingly good powder on South Boundary.
A primary goal was to just grab a bunch of vertical, so I took 13 runs in total, seven on the Fingers and Pierres Knob, and six on Slushmans, stopping well below the ridgetop. The skin tracks were all in and they were also surprisingly moderate, so the going was quick. I was surprised to find a pair of nice southeast facing runs in both areas that were new to me, but otherwise I was on all familiar terrain. I also bumped into the tireless ski couple, John and Deb - thanks for the tales from Nepal, and the perfect skin track!
It felt wonderful to be back on the skin track.
Looking back at two of my runs earlier in the day.
Emotions, in order of strength at the end of the day:
Psyched, grateful, tired, cold, hungry.

I spent the day at something like a steady bright moderate pace, which left me tired but not exhausted. I underestimated the length of each run, and was surprised to have racked up 14,400 vertical feet in almost exactly 8 hours. I was on Scarpa Aliens and Dynafit Nanga Parbats, and the light gear helped make a long day like this possible.

It was good to spend Thanksgiving with my father.

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