Monday, January 19, 2015
Peak 9699- 1.18.2015
I have wanted to hit this peak for a long time now. I have seen it from Honeycomb Canyon so many times, and the snow always looks sweet. We started from the Spruces and skinned up to Greens Basin. The temperatures were mild, and the snow was still in great condition. We moved quickly up the skin track to Greens Basin. We stopped to soak up the sunshine in Greens Basin for a few minutes, then we moved up the skin track that took off from the meadow heading east. We started climbing through the aspens, then we got to a point where we made our own track to get to the skin track on the ridge. We climbed through a pretty sweet forest of aspens and pines. This is a part of the forest in the range that looks to be old growth, and is littered with downed trees and stumps. We finally connected with the main track coming up the ridge. We made our way to the saddle and continued to climb. We stopped to soak in the view at the saddle. It was nice to have a snack, and to look at Honeycomb Canyon. We then made the final push for the summit. This was a windy experience, but the snow was in such great condition that I kept moving because I was getting excited to ride. I have made many summits in my life. But in all my time here in the Wasatch, I have never had a view of the entire range from one vantage point like this. Peak 9699 gave us a birds eye view of all the drainages and summits, and we for sure took note on where we were seeing great lines. We eventually broke out of touring mode and strapped into riding mode. My first drop was so good, snow quality was wind buffed powder, so soft and smooth. Felt really nice under foot. But we were not done. We took a line through the trees and continued to hit amazing snow! We hit some open glades that were some of the best turns of the year. We eventually slashed our way to the meadow, then had to walk for a short distance to hit the summer trail for our final line out. A short but deep boot pack, and we were on the last ridge to the base. We were then riding spring conditions in this lower area. Wet, manky snow that had shady pockets of good powder. We finally made it out to the car after a long, but satisfying tour. Amazing day up there, and probably one of my new favorite zones. Peak 9699 and the tree glades over there just got moved to the top of my list as favorite areas to hit. One I am sure I will return to. Enjoy the pics and video in the edit below. Pray 4 Snow!