For the first time ever I decided to tour Blue Mountain. This is an area I have spent hundreds of hours biking and running but have never snowboarded. I found myself one warm sunny day staring out the window at the snowpack left on Blue Mountain. It has ample deadfall, but I figured with a freeze overnight I could catch the corn perfectly. Lucky for me it ended up being a perfect day and I found a sustained 1300 foot run in perfect corn. I must add that it did require a little navigation but it was great to get a little vertical and a tour in a new place so close to town all in about 2.5 hours door to door. The excursion opened my eyes to potential skiing up there mid winter on a heavy year.
|Views from Blue|
Sticking with the current trend, while up on a hike one day I noticed that although mostly bare, Mt. Sentinel had a sustained wind drift that looked ride-able for a sustained 1000 feet. With hot temps and rain forecasted I knew I had a very short window of time to try and catch it while it was still in tact. I was wishing I had gear the day of my hike, but ended up returning three days later. The hike up is always great with views in all directions. I got a few weird looks with ski gear on my back in the rain but the strip of snow was in great condition. It was apparent much of it had left in the three days since my hike which had me questioning the attempt, but I was thrilled when I was able to ride all 1000 feet of skiable snow from the top. The turns were great and its always a weird experience skiing snow with grass on both sides of you while staring down at the Missoula valley. One thing is for certain. It is much more fun to ski down than hike. It was also a great work out and I was able to complete this tour in about 1.75 hours door to door. Great option with snow and a short window of time.
And lastly I was able to squeeze a quick 2 hour tour into an afternoon in the Rattlesnakes that led to a tight couloir and a sunset which may have been the highlight of the outing. A quick 20 minuets from my house and I was skinning. Catching the sunrise or the final rays of light at the end of the day is always hard to describe. It just adds so much more depth to the experience.
So here is to new experiences, and capitalizing on the additional light we have this time of the year. Sometimes it is so easy to look past the low hanging fruit, or fruit you didn't realize existed because your focus was to fine. Even though these outings are far from "epic" I sure have had a good laugh and enjoyed exploring them.