Wednesday, December 21, 2016

... And so it begins 2017

Track refilling between laps.  Good to be back on skis.
The first day back in Missoula also corresponded with my first full available day in the mountains in several months, so I went skiing despite a horrendous forecast.  With high avalanche danger, thin coverage, an a desire to simply get a lot of vertical in, I kept it simple and skied just outside the Snowbowl boundary.  The day was straightforward: skin to the top of Point 6, take a standard Jenny Bowl lap, then yo-yo the east shoulder of Jenny Bowl for the remainder of the day.  Although it is out of the way, I enjoy the east/skier's left shoulder for its low angle and generally wind protected skiing.  The weather deteriorated throughout the day as forecast.  By the end, trees were crashing down (one on the skin track, one adjacent to the track, and two in the ski area boundary), snow was blowing sideways, and it was easy to cut the day one run short to finish in the daylight.

Frosty grin between laps.
Lots of tracks, all my own, proper solo yo-you skiing.
The skiing was just OK.  I have had better first days, but I have also certainly had much, much worse.  As predicted, the snowpack structure is poor and bottomless and well below average at the mid to upper elevations.  Nevertheless, it was great to get back on skis and hammer out a respectable day.  Right around 10k vertical, done in about 9.5 hours at an aerobic pace with stops to manage the weather.

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