This needs to be short since I'm swamped with work. Kyle, two of his friends and I took the summer route up to the top of Sacagawea, then traversed around to the top of the great one. I was stuck on slowshoes because my board is still in the shop, and the rest were on skins. Luckily, no significant drifts were encountered. Winds were strong and cold on the ridge, reminiscent of deep winter.
Once at the entrance to the great one, we noticed a party of three that had hiked to within 200 ft of our position, up the couloir. Upon seeing us, they quickly hopped on their skis and took first tracks, leaving us slightly irate. Oh well. I was then belayed into the couloir and dug a pit, finding one borderline layer about 10 to 12 inches down. We decided to ride it due to the protected nature of the run. Amazingly, the snowpack in the couloir was already five feet deep even though it hasn't snowed that much this year. The depth was likely due to wind loading and sluffs off the rocky face above, and it will only get deeper.
Even though I came down last, mostly fresh tracks were had, by far the best of the season to date. Not a single rock was hit the whole way down, even after the couloir, and smiles were had all around. Winter has arrived, and it can only get better.
Hey man. Bummer that someone got the jump on you. How was the road over the weekend?
My partner and I were up that way the previous weekend and watched some skiers in the Great One through binoculars. It looked, well, great. We had planned to hit it this past Saturday but worried that we'd spend all day fighting that road.
Ssattler - The Great one is in the Bridger Range in Montana, near Bozeman. I'll decline to elaborate further....
Splittilps - are you in Bozeman or nearby? The road was passable most of the way with a 4wd truck, though it might even be possible with a subaru still. Last winter Dave and I skinned the entire road to get runs (~12 mi roundtrip), but hopefully this year we'll be able to find sled rides.
I've been hesitant to hit up bridger due to the massive crowds, but it is a good option for a short tour.
Yep, I'm in Bozeman. That's good news about the road. I thought for sure it would be in worse shape. Bridger was waaaay crowded (but the snow was good) my jaw dropped when we got back to the upper lot and saw the mob of jibbers there.
I've never skinned the whole F.Lk road before although, in early springs past, I've had decent luck bootpacking to Frasier from the trailhead at Seitz road and also to the Great One from Bracket Ck. While I never had the luxury of a snowmobile, I'm quite happy to be on a split now, and with a more mobile partner (tele) compared to my bootpacking compadre who moved south last season.