Kelly Mountain summit cairn
I’ve been skiing a lot at the resort in preparation for my final Ski Patrol exam in just a few short weeks. It’s been really fun to meet, ski, and make new friends with the Kelly Canyon Ski Patrol. They are a great group of people who have taught me a lot about emergency care as well as how to ski! They’ve embraced Heather with open arms and she now has many new ski buddies also.
Yesterday, Heather and I decided to mix things up a little bit from our daily routine of groomers. From the top of lift 2 we skinned east to the Radio Tower and continued out to Baugher’s Igloo on the true summit of Kelly Mountain. Our plan was to ski Norm’s Hill a few times before skating the Cross Country ski track back down to the Lodge; a fun lift served side country experience!
It has been more than 15 years since I’ve skied Norm’s Hill and was excited to find the top of it on our first try! This was a new place for Heather and a good start to using her injured knee a bit more than just skiing inbounds.
As we skinned along the ridge to the igloo, Heather and i laughed and smiled the whole way as we soaked up some classic Big Hole vistas. It was energizing to be away from the hustle and bustle of the ski hill and listen to our heavy breathing and skins gliding across the snow.
We spent a few minutes at the Igloo before peeling our skins off and starting down to Norm’s. Once past the thick trees and brush at the top of the ridge we were blessed with supportive soft snow – a big change from the hardpack we’ve been skiing. The sensation of floating quickly came back as we dodged small clumps of willows before reaching the bottom of the hill. With smiles ear to ear, we slapped the skins on and headed back up for another lap!
After the second lap we stopped by the warming hut for a minute before heading back to the resort. I did a quick snow depth measurement which indicated 65cm. Not a whole lot of snow, but given the dense supportive nature we found it to not be a problem. The trek back to the resort in our fat skis and heavy boots proved to be a solid work out as we skated the few miles back to the lodge for more ski fun on the groomers.
The bottom of Norm’s Hill. Soft(ish) snow is fun!