Forums Trip Reports Sphinx Mtn 3-11-06
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #567622
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    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.

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

    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.

    and Lone Peak/Big Sky to the northeast

    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.

    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)!

    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 😉

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

    #587420
    lifelinksplit
    282 Posts

    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.

    #587421
    Wyomingsplit_ride
    663 Posts

    hell ya…nothing like soaking in springs after a trip…nice tr and thank you for sharing it! Good stuff.

    #587422
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    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.

    #587423
    bcrider
    4150 Posts

    good stuff man! 🙂

    #587424
    lifelinksplit
    282 Posts

    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

    #587425
    trackhead
    7 Posts

    @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. 😉

    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.

    #587426
    nomad
    288 Posts

    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?

    #587427
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @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. 😉

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

    #587428
    lewmt
    570 Posts

    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.

    #587429
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    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.

    #587430
    lewmt
    570 Posts

    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.

    #587431
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    I’ve been told that he’s single-handedly responsible for converting all the L-town ranchers from Carharts to Mountain Hardware. 😆

    #587432
    lewmt
    570 Posts

    He might have – but up here the sheep still prefer their boyfriends in carhartts.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.