Missed the Sunday splitfest tour, I worked super late Saturday night and slept in. Went up Grizzly with my roommate that afternoon, we got up into the flats in the graupel thunderstorm, and then saw lightning hit the power lines just in front of us. We didn't transition just GTFO.
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm Posts: 1439 Location: UT
Nice turns Dave!
Thurs 2/20 BCC New snow at trailhead (7500') was about 4" of low density. Light snow falling, overcast. Temperatures much warmer than forecast (e.g. no wind, or chill) @ 8am Surpised to see wind deposits opposite of where forecast wind direction would have placed them.
Aspects and elevation - more of the same, I'm digging the trees. S, 30-35° between 8400-9400' aspens 5-8" of new snow with more where wind deposited Turns ranged from buttery to catchy to bouncy All things considered the low density snow was a welcome upgrade.
Lots of folks out and about later as I bailed for work aorund 11am. Apparently the sun came out.
Pardon me that the following is sappy and run-on. There will be a couple photos if you scroll down. But I want to say:
This thing we do (splitboarding/backcountry/touring/mountaineering/seeking adventure/pressing our limits/etc), while it provides to me, and I hope to you, so much celebration of existence, a purity of effort and activity and purpose, we also gotta recognize that it's inherently pretty dangerous. It may result in our individual end (aka "death"). That happened to a couple of us in the extended North American splitboard/mountaineering community in the past week. Several others over the past couple years. Accumulated heaviness. "None of us get out of this alive," that applies not just to our chosen high risk activities, it applies to existence as a human in general.
We homo sapiens (well maybe dolphins and elephants a bit too) are uniquely aware of our mortality. I have a daily relationship with another species (OK: cats, judge me as you wish) enough to appreciate their LACK of awareness of mortality and grief, if that makes sense. I frequently wish I had their ignorance in that regard. Their resilience and ability to live in the present moment, without the weight of the past, or concern for the future, that really informs me. Because my connection with others' mortality, and my own, it haunts me, and I try to learn from it and leave it behind as best I can. I hope that it inspires me to make as good decisions as I can, and live my finite life as boldly and appropriately as possible. Ok, enough of that.
Thanks to Bob (jivestick) for your curmudgeon spirit and independence and consistently valid and helpful observations. Please see and support wowasatch.com if you don't already do that. Understand that you are supporting a true local legend and a good soul if you do that.
Thanks to Brett, Trent, Paul, and all the UAC folks - if you merely consider a beancounter-style cost/benefit analysis of their efforts, the UAC is an incredibly efficient protector of human life, and they help us all immensely.
Thanks to all of you who contributed to the splitfest last week: Josh, Dave (mar123), Kelly R, Alister (singlewhitecaveman(ps you need to change yr handle cuz you are married)) at Chimera, Dan (wasatchsurf), the Voile folks, Arc'teryx, Matt J, Jason M, Eric M, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, Black Diamond, Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, doug mackay (snurfer), Spark R&D, Prior, Venture, Out and Back, and Hand Out Gloves.
Thanks to Chris G (bcrider) for running this site, his hospitality, and for providing a forum for gathering our tribe in this digital age.
Thank Kyle Miller for your friendship and example of a life lived boldly with passion and positivity.
Thanks to Alex and the staff of Save Our Canyons for fighting the good fight for protecting the scarce backcountry resources. Thank you Alexis Kelner! This wilderness we have in the Wasatch, so close to a metropolis of a million plus people, is unique, and Save Our Canyons has been, and continues to be, instrumental in protecting access for us.
And thanks to anyone who broke trail for me, I will try my best to repay you.
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm Posts: 1439 Location: UT
I like them words Bucky, well spoken... Nice pics too...
Got out of the sheep pen today for a very long walk on the wild side. My back probably wasn't ready for thirteen miles, but it was good to go for a long walk someplace that is still pretty wild... Interrupting a cougars breakfast anyone? Yep, wild... No riding shots, went solo, played it safe, far, far from help... Just the same I hope ya'll enjoy...
Across the valley
Over the creek
Oooh, breakfast meats - I'm pretty sure the tricksters took this from a kitty cat's body stash
Awesome pics Bucky and Snurfer...Thanks again Bucky for putting together the Wasatch Splitfest wouldn't happen without you(and others ), Salt Lake has such a great backcountry community...hope there will be more Splitfests!
Checked out the Benson and Hedges Couloir today...snow was great Andy Booting Up
Andy Shralping Down
Skier Phil getting some
Mineral and SLC valley
Andy Pow Turn in Mineral
Cardiff/Mineral, winds gusting out of the N/NW, no instabilities on routes traveled
Sweet turns UTAH. I looked up at the mountains this morning and though it would be a good day up there.
Similar to Snurfer I decided to go on a long walk this weekend. Friday night my buddy Joel and I drove down to Beaver, UT and spent the night. Woke up early and drove to our start point at Eagle Point Ski Area. All photos credit to Joel.
The days objective would be Mount Baldy, the third highest peak in the Tushars and the peak that boasts probably the tallest lines in central Utah. From the ski area we skinned over 5 miles north with only a net gain of 900 feet of elevation. Slog city. Good views though.
The snow conditions were pretty similar to the Wasatch a month ago. Not particularly deep but deep enough, poor structure but no slab, and some areas of wind loading to keep an eye on. Surface snow was mostly shallow powder with areas of corny snow as well as deep facet turns.
After the 5 mile slog we had to drop an 1800' shot down to the base of Baldy. The run was awesome but we weren't looking forward to having to reclimb that at the end of the day.
View of Baldy from the top of the 1800' run:
We then started skinning up Baldy proper first on the south side, then the east side. We eventually hit the east ridge and started booting. Getting close to the top:
We summitted around 1 pm with spectacular views to Wheeler Peak, Ibapah, and even the Wasatch. Unbelievably clear. I love windless, sunny summits when you know you have a great line ahead of you. After 20 min on the summit we started riding.
After 2600 vert of riding we transitioned back to skinning. Reascending the 1800' shot was slow and we were tired.
We decided we didn't want to retrace our 5 mile traverse on the exit so we decided to ride down a Forest Service road that would put us on the highway 5 miles and 1600' below the car and hope someone would give us a ride. The road turned out to be mostly high speed luging down refrozen sled ruts. Two dudes in a Tundra picked us up right away and rove us back to the ski area. All told the tour was probably ~17 miles and my feet hurt now.
We stopped at Arshel's Cafe in Beaver before hitting the road home. Its only a little over 3 hours from SLC to Eagle Point. If anybody wants a change of scenery and some high altitude touring its the place!