|Looking west to Point 8,865 and the Heavenly Twins.|
|I spent several hours doing this before the sun came up.|
|Sunrise. My shadow. St. Mary Lookout. Ready for a big day.|
|Near the bottom of the snowless south ridge of St. Mary. |
The boulder hopping was actally quite enjoyable.
|Icy tree lane off the far west shoulder of St, Mary peak.|
|Looking down the third run, which dropped to the sun/shade saddle, |
then skier's left through a fun gully toward Kootenai Creek.
|Climb with a view. At the Kootenai/Big divide, looking north to Big St. Joe.|
|Scratch marks during the wrap around below Dissapointment point.|
|About half way down the Heavenly Twins.|
|Looking back at the magnificent Southwest face of the Heavenly Twins.|
That was fun.
|About half way down the massive south face of Point 8,702. |
This is one of the biggest avalanche paths in the Bitterroot mountains.
|Ice covered rocks and soggy boots after crossing Big Creek.|
This was a great tour. I got a little greedy and pretty much just skied everything that looked good and logical, but it could be simplified and shortened into a reasonable day. Even though last week's rain and warm temperatures sapped the low elevation snow, the snow seems to be welded together, so it finally feels like go time for bigger, steeper ski runs. Even though the tour was long, I putted along at a moderate, steady pace, returning to the car tired but not wasted.
By the numbers, 13,300 vertical feet and done in 13 hours, 40 minutes. Gear used: Scarpa Aliens, Dynafit Nanga Parbats, ski crampons, ice crampons, one Whippet and one race pole. I brought and consumed about 2,500 calories and by far the most memorable food item was a packet of squeezable MRE peanut butter than kept me kicking along for hours.
Memories to suppress: Fording Big Creek with ski boots, the entire snowless egress, ICE EVERYWHERE.