Sunday, February 22, 2009

Backcountry Touring and Such

A couple weeks ago a few friends went ski touring to Monitor Bowl in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was a snowy day, and the powder turns were awesome. Unfortunately, at the farthest away point at the bottom of the bowl our friend Brian's ski broke in half. The ski was already on its death bed, but the powder overwhelmed the fix job. That was a long tour back out on a broken ski.

Yesterday Eric and I toured up Circle All Peak in perrrrfect weather. I mostly enjoy ski touring on bluebird days when I don't have to deal with wearing goretex and trying to stay warm and dry. We enjoyed a beautiful view of the surrounding peaks from Circle All Peak. I've never stood on that summit before and it was a pleasure to look at the various mountain tops i've heard of and finally identify them for myself.

Monitor Bowl Telemark Turns


The Summit of Circle All Peak

Skinning towards the Aspens in Circle All Trees

Removing the skins on the summit Circle All

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Millcreek Yurt and Tour

This past week Eric and I and two of my friends from work, Jamie and Dennis, toured up Millcreek Canyon. Millcreek is an extremely close canyon to the city and eric was able to even work half days both thursday and friday. the yurt is located 4.5 miles up a groomed cross country track, so the going was easy. we stoked the awesome pot belly stove with tons of wood and had the yurt piping hot by the time we all went to bed. the next morning we woke up and toured up a small hill by the yurt. it was a beautiful blue bird day with light, fluffy snow. eric and i had to get back down into the valley for work, etc but dennis and jamie stayed up in the hills skiing the rest of the day. yurts are fantastic. they are basically a wood latice structure coverd with a heavy canvas. a huge tent big enough for 12 people, a picnic table, a wood pile, and wood burning stove and all our skis and gear. the forest service maintains this particular yurt and provides dry wood for the stove and a portapotty bathroom right outside. we melted snow for our drinking and cooking water. i felt like we had real 'back in the day' experience with keeping the fire going and continually melting snow for just the basic needs of water. it was great to wake up that morning and step outside to glistening snow and total solitude. all just right outside out backdoor.

Touring up Millcreek canyon to the yurt.

Inside the yurt

the yurt

preparing for the morning powder turns

up the hill!

Eric and I on a mini summit. That's Dennis' dog.

Coming down through the trees.

Yay for aspen groves!