Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snodgrass - 3.7.2012

After many lovely, warm, bluebird resort days lately we were ready to head out into the backcountry today. However, this was complicated by two things: 1) The warm, windy weather lately has not been exactly conducive to producing good snow quality or healing the weak snowpack. 2) My snowmobile is still out of action after catching fire last week. So, with these limitations we headed to a closer zone that we do not normally ski. So, catching my sled on fire is a blessing in disguise right???

So, Josh and I headed out to ski Snograss Mountain, just northwest of the ski resort. Years ago Snodgrass was actually the first CB backcountry ski I ever did, and I haven't been back since, and I was excited to ski it again. Somehow despite the forecasted 80% chance of snow it was bluebird at the trailhead. The views from the trailhead are a bit different from what we normally see skiing west and northwest of town:

Josh with Snodgrass and Gothic in the background:

Gothic again:



Axtell:


Mount Emmons:


Mount Bellview


The beautiful weather continued to hold as we skinned up, Whetsone Mountain to the South:


...and the resort behind us:


After a quick hour and twenty minute skin we were at the top and ready to drop into 1600 vertical feet of protected north facing trees. Josh immediately found some creamy pow:


After the steep upper pitches, we ripped through some fun meadows lower down:






Before we knew it we were at the bottom and skinning the flat 30 minute road back to the car.


Overall, this is a great, easy tour that I would recommend to anyone, especially those without snowmobiles. There are lots of safe, well spaced trees that can be skied in relatively unstable conditions. However, because it is closer to the resort and farther east than where we normally tour, the snowpack is shallower and has the typical instability associated with it. Its important to be careful on the steep rollovers that exist here.