Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We Could Sure Use Some Powder

Yesterday was groundhog day. I don't know if there are any groundhogs in northern Idaho, but if there are, they sure as hell didn't see their shadow. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but since its the first week of February, I'm pretty certain that winter is going to be around for awhile.

Skiing has been interesting lately. After several weeks without any new snow, we skied into Copper Lake last week for some backcountry turns, and I guess the best description for the conditions would be challenging. We hiked the ridge up on a suncrusted ice layer, hoping with every step that our skins would hold. You pretty much knew that if you fell you might not stop for awhile, so none of us had any interest in skiing back down that route. I had performed a 300 foot death slide down whiplash the day before, and was still a little gun-shy. Once we reached the top of the ridge, we dug a pit on a northern slope and decided that it looked pretty good. However, the trees were too tight for the conditions, so we kept searching. Things finally opened up off to the east, so we dug another pit, and skied breakable crust back down to the lake. It was not pretty, but it was skiable. The ski back down the approach was typically fast and quad-burning.

We got eleven (ski hill rules) inches of new snow last Tuesday night, so Banana and I went up to Lookout Pass and skied fast and hard in the first fresh powder in a while. It was nice snow on top of some pretty hard crust, making for some fast runs. Banana pretty much handed me my ass, but it was fun. I did manage to bend one of my new poles with my rib cage, so my poor luck with having a nice pair of ski poles that match continues. Such is life.

I'm heading back for Lookout tomorrow. They got a few inches of new stuff on Sunday night, so there should be some good turns. I'm hoping for snow before the weekend. We are planning on skiing into the Boulder Creek Basin, which is one of my favorite areas, so I'm thinking it might be time for a naked snow dance. Like my skiing lately, it ain't gonna be pretty.

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