>In what is becoming an annual tradition, Anna and I headed up to Lost Trail Pass to spend New Years at the cabin of our friends Mike and Jess. We skied the lifts on New Years Day and found the snow pretty good. So on Saturday, Mike, Darren, Riley and myself headed out to ski the backcountry near Moose Creek. We knew the conditions were probably a bit dicey, but we figured if we took it easy we’d be alright. As we were skinning in, it was obvious the avalanche situation was not good. Multiple whumps, cracking, breakable crust and collapsing skin tracks were all the warning we needed. We talked about digging a pit when we got to the top, but we knew what we’d find. A heavy layer on faceted snow was the order of the day.
So we abandoned our plans to ski the bowl near the top and began looking for a safe way down. We found a south facing slope that was about 15 degrees and went for it. The turns actually weren’t too bad, but the collapsing snow pack under our feet took away some of the fun. It’s a bit disturbing to see the plants sticking out of the snow 20 feet in front of you suddenly lay down flat.
We eventually ended up in the creek bed, which led to a fairly epic ski back to the road. A few good turns, and few core shots, and lots of bushwwacking. But any day in the backcountry is a good day. We got to explore some new territory and when the conditions improve, we’ll be back!
Riley anxiously waiting for us to get into ski mode.
Mike and Riley watching the cracks in the snow.
Mike, Darren, and Riley bushwacking back to the truck.