Post subject: TR: St. Mary's Glacier 9/30/07 (pics/video)
Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:22 pm
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am Posts: 544 Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
As my Bears utterly imploded in Detroit last week, I needed to take drastic action. At 3:00 Sunday afternoon, I called up Rob.
"Hey what are you up to?"
"I'm thinking about going snowboarding,"
"Well, I'm looking up at the mountains...they look white."
"There's snow up there...I'm down."
The sun had already started to drop down in the western sky by the time we hit the highway at 4:20. We cruised up to the hills listening anxiously to the final outs of the Rockies game. Once they won the game, we celebrated briefly but then quickly got on the text messages to friends back in town to request tickets.
We rounded the bend and got a first glimse of the continental divide. It was a little discouraging. All the mountains were dusted with snow, but there just didn't seem like enough had fallen yet (still September in the mountains, although the changing aspen leaves added a nice touch of scenery.) The trailhead was bone dry but that didn't stop us from starting our assault on the mountain. The last time I had been here, in early April, everything had been covered in snow. However, the wind at the base of the glacier was just as brutal as it was in the spring.
Rob pointed out various features around the lake, and Brian offered his predictions of the upcoming winter snowpack. At around 11,000 feet, I was proud to see that some local squids had build up a nice little rail park on the largest patch of snow. Our mission led us beyond the park, but I snapped a few pics of the upcoming gold medalists.
We hit the high ridge above the glacier at around 6:30pm while the sun was still up. Instead of the abundant summer wildflowers that I had seen in the mountains for the past 4 months, there was nothing but a cold, desert tundra. I pointed out some of the various lines on the north face of James Peak: star light, shooting star, and super star...and bailout.
"Bailout is for the pussies," I told Rob, "this year we're going to hit up the shooting star."
By the time we were ready to ride, all of the skiiers and boarders had left. However, their small booter remained. I rode down on some solid but smooth hardpack and took some pics of the other two guys hitting the jump, then hiked up hit the jump myself. It seemed to be well built.
"One more time," I told Brian, "I think I'm going to put some junk on it."
With the camera rolling, I hit the booter and threw the rotation...but didn't quite "stick" the landing. This Video speaks for itself.
Done with the jump, we started to ride down. The snow was less than ideal. After sideslipping through mostly dirt with a thin layer of snow on it, I finally was fed up and walked down a good 100 feet. Just when I thought it was time to put the board back on the pack, I caught sight of an untracked patch of snow about 80' by 30'. I walked over and picked up a handful.
"Dust on crust, boys!" I yelled and frantically strapped on my board to beat the others to first tracks. We each got about 4 good pow turns and the patch was tracked out. I donned the headlamp and started the dark hike out.
Consensus on the trip: still no fresh snow. However, I am glad to have earned some September snow. There will probably be two long months to go before the season gets into full swing. But with two hunting trips, a vegas trip, weekends of football, and hopefully a few more weeks of baseball in Denver...the time should pass pretty quickly.
_________________ Riding a '06 Voile Split Decision Freeride 173, '07 Salomon Malamutes, Spark Ignition I bindings.