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 Post subject: Sphinx Mtn 3-11-06
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24 am
Posts: 155
First off, props to all you folks who take the time to shoot nice pictures documenting your trip. I really don't have patience for that but...

I was invited on a trip to Sphinx Mountain on Saturday. Just me alone to represent the splitboard community in a group of 10 AT and tele skiers. It was my 3rd time riding the Sphinx and I knew it was going to be a slog. About 7 miles and 4000 ft of climbing, all the while trying to keep up with fast skiers.

The 18" of fresh that Big Sky recieved a few days earlier had us nervous about avy conditions but it looked like very little fresh snow fell on the Sphinx. After about 5 miles of skinning and kickstepping/bootpacking (icy sideslopes) the top of the mountain came into view.

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And after another grueling mile we were about to begin the "real" ascent up the gully to the summit snowfield.

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It was about this time that my legs started to cramp and I told myself that I probably would not do the trip again. We still had another 2000 ft of climbing to do over the next mile and I knew I was in for a hurtin'. But up I went, determined to make the summit despite the fact that my inner quads cramped everytime I slid my skis forward. Eventually I realized that it was easier to walk.

After a total of 6.5 hours I finally made the summit. I managed not to be last either. Here's a view of the Hilgaards to the South.

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and Lone Peak/Big Sky to the northeast

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Finally, after a quick bite to eat and a cold transition (the Burton is gone for next season!), it was top to drop in. Here's a shot looking down the snow field. You can just make out a couple skiers at the bottom. It was pretty variable do to wind scouring.

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And what do you get when you have one snowboarder in a big group of skiers? Only one track worth looking at (although it might be hard to see in this shot)!

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After this part, we skied/rode down the gully where the snow eventually got nicer. There was a thin (4 inch) layer on top that would slide a few feet on a firm crust but nothing too hazardous.

The real fun actually came when we got back to the lower flank of the mountain. Deep pow and huge smiles. I was having too much fun to stop for pictures though. After riding the entire 7 miles back to the trailhead I changed my mind about not doing the trip again :wink:

And we capped it all off with beers and a soak at Norris Hot Springs.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 351
Location: bozeman
Nice work! Good call on Norris, nothing like beer and hot springs to soothe those aching bones. Where exactly do you head in? I have heard of people staying at that forest service cabin near there and using it for a base camp for sphinx. Oh yeah the southern madisons have endless possibilities.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:59 pm
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Location: Lander, WY
hell ya...nothing like soaking in springs after a trip...nice tr and thank you for sharing it! Good stuff.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Yeah, you start at that cabin in Cameron and follow the hiking trail. Eventually you turn can off of the summer trail and follow a gully to save some distance but the climb out of the gully kinda sucks.

I wish I wasn't so lazy with the camera - we also saw wolf and (huge) mtn lion tracks that I should have taken a few shots of.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:08 pm 
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Location: California
good stuff man! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm
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Location: bozeman
Ah yes, Cameron. My buddy(ironically named cameron) has a shirt from the bar there that says" Montana: where men are men and the sheep are dirty little whores" good stuff


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 Post subject: Re: Sphinx Mtn 3-11-06
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:55 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Ooootah
splittilps wrote:

And what do you get when you have one snowboarder in a big group of skiers?


Alot of waiting for the split boarder on the up track, the change over, the traverse, and the exit. :wink:

Nice pics though. Some friends of mine skied the first descent of "The Sphinxter", the ice route on the mountain, years back. Looked like a cool line.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 323
Location: NW/BC/Montana
Nicely done. I might have to make it up there one of these days.

The S Madisons are looking prime! Traverse from South to North anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Sphinx Mtn 3-11-06
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24 am
Posts: 155
trackhead wrote:
splittilps wrote:

And what do you get when you have one snowboarder in a big group of skiers?


Alot of waiting for the split boarder on the up track, the change over, the traverse, and the exit. :wink:


Heh, heh. Yeah, true on almost all counts - I was the first one out though 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:27 am 
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Location: Montana
Great job putting up with the Lew contingent of that party. I know Mark well. I get the same treatment up here. Wish I woulda gone on that trip - went to bag a 1st descent that weekend instead that didn't work out.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:37 am 
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Posts: 155
Lew as in L-town? Either way, it was a great bunch of guys/gals. I work with Mark P and although I had heard some stories this was my first time meeting Mark F. Great sense of humor and both of those guys are skinning animals.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 5:07 am
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Location: Montana
Quote:
Lew as in L-town?


Exactly - Yep - Mark F is an animal & premium crap distributor to all things boarding. Great guy to ride with anytime.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24 am
Posts: 155
I've been told that he's single-handedly responsible for converting all the L-town ranchers from Carharts to Mountain Hardware. :lol:


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