Saturday, February 27, 2010

Clearly I'm not a Samurai

Well, I know this is a record number of posts for one day, but the wife is gone, and I'm home alone... so what the heck. Today I took on the task of heading up to Lone peak, or possible thunder bowl from the safest route, the South. So I got a good old alpine start and started skinning at 1000am for the 7000ft + day. Something you don't think about after a while of skinning in the cottonwoods is the pure joy of approaches in the real sense, not the 10 minute skin through the groomed 30 foot wide green run. The approach to Lone peak from the South is basically an old dirt road (actually clay) that starts in Alpine and just goes up, and up and up. After about the first 1000 yards the snow gets too deep and I throw on the skies (about another 7 lbs per foot) and start skinning through the breakable crust that we all love so much. It goes like this... take a step forward, weight the ski, then it breaks through 6 inches of snow which handily fall on top of your ski for you to carry up. On and the repeat for say...6500ft.

The good news is that there was a short section in the middle that some tracked-mobile had gone up so I didn't have to break trail for a 1/16th of a mile. In the summer we have had the hike to the Cirque in something like 3 hours, so I figured how long could it take? 4 maybe 5?

Wrong answer... 6 painful hours it took me one step at a time.... step, weight, sink, step weigh, sink. I had a quick lunch break just above the second hemagogue but that was really the only break I took... Moral of the story is, I think I need to ski more, and more big days--not just the 5 hour days.
Well, I did finally make it to Bear Tooth Canyon over look just shy of Lone Peak (about 400 ft shy that is) and got to look down to where I should have been if I wanted to ski thunder bowl. Next time, maybe I'll get close to my goal and climb a little more like a Samari, not so much like the wire rider.

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