Friday, February 27, 2015

Scotts Backdoor Tour- 2.27.2015

I was going to try to connect with some new folks for the Wasatch Splitfest, but when I got to the lot, no one was there. So I decided to just head up and tour Scotts Pass solo. New snow, and a nice skin in on the road to the elbow. From the elbow, the trail got a bit deeper and was completely untouched. I was breaking trail all the way to the pass. Arriving on the pass, I headed up to the top of Scotts Backdoor. It started snowing as I climbed, and the big flakes were falling. I reached the top and broke out from touring mode to riding mode. I honestly just sat there for a bit, as the flakes just got bigger and bigger. It was so awesome to be out in a blizzard like this. It has been a while! Eventually, it was time to drop. The very top had a bit of a sun crust under the new snow, but was manageable. When I got to the top of my line, I was making turns in really nice snow! A quick traverse through the trees and I was in the main glade. The snow was so good and very floaty. I made it out to where I normally exit, when I ran into a very nice couple who had toured up from the winter gate. They had a different exit than I was used to, so I followed them out to the road. A nice area, and some really good snow to finish it off. All in all a great day despite missing the Splitfest folks. I guess there is always next year. Enjoy the video and pics. Pray 4 Snow!

Scotts Backdoor 2.27.2015 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Peak 9699- 2.22.2015

After what seemed to be the end of winter, the old man showed up again and gave us a foot of the good stuff we have all been waiting for. We made our way up the mountain, finding some really thin spots at the base. We had to weave our way through some aspens and willows that were not covered with snow anymore to make our climb. Finally we hit the summer trail and headed up to Greens Basin. We took a short break, then move on to climb up to the ridge. The snow was in great shape, but the skin track was pretty slippery. We eventually made the saddle and took a snack break, then moved on to the summit. The temps up there were for sure winter, something we have not seen since early January. We took a few moments to soak in the view and break into riding mode, then it was off to the fluffies that awaited! I dropped first and it was so good! I have been waiting for a while to be riding snow this good! Eventually we made our way through the glades and to the meadow out of Greens Basin. The ride out on our exit was pretty gnarly. The trail is so thin down at the base, and some spots have little or no snow. We had to boot pack one section because there was dead fall that was once buried now exposed again because of the melt off we had. The last shot to the car was tricky at best, crusty bumps with just a few inches on it. I got hucked off my edge and landed on my rear end on a very sharp rock! Ouch! My buns will live to ride another day. A great day out in the powder with friends. Enjoy the edit with pics and video from today. Pray 4 Snow!

Peak 9699- 2.22.2015 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scotts Pass- 2.11.2015

What a wild and crazy last few weeks it has been. I came down sick which laid me up for almost two weeks, and spring decided to show up two months early. We got lucky and the mountains had a small storm that came in Monday night and put down 4-5 inches of snow over the Wasatch. We have been so dry, and conditions have been rapidly deteriorating in the lower elevations in the backcountry with the record breaking temps. I was beginning to think winter was over. I decided since it was a bluebird day on tap, and the north facing trees were still gonna be good, that getting out for a tour was a great idea. I met up with my friend Jeremy and we headed in on the Guardsman Pass road. We made good time to the elbow in the road which marks the summer trail for Scotts Pass. We made our way up this very gradual and easy skin track up the drainage. We passed some nice meadows, and had a great view of Scott Hill. In what seemed no time, we were standing on the pass. You could see the Park City skiers hitting the ridge in the in bounds terrain, but we were not interested in that. We could see on our way in that my call on the aspect was money! We climbed from the pass to the top of the ridge of this no named peak. I nice skin up to the top and we were greeted with a great view of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We spent a little bit up there enjoying the view and breaking out of touring mode into riding mode. I was feeling so good being up the mountains, getting out on the splitboard, and having some great company to enjoy it with. We dropped in from the top, and soon found ourselves carving in some really great snow. It was so nice to be making turns in really nice snow. We eventually made our way down the summer trail, and out on the road to the car. Some one foot riding in the flat spots, but all in all not too bad. Enjoy the video edit with pics from the day. I still have hope that we will have a strong spring cycle. I do not think this party is over with yet. Pray 4 Snow!

Scotts Pass 2.11.2015 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Hiking in February? Where did winter go? Bells Canyon- 2.8.2015

Yes, you read that correctly. I did my first hike of the year over the weekend up Bells Canyon. It was 65 degrees, which is unheard of this time of year. I am usually snowboarding, not hiking in February. It was a nice day out, and it really felt more like May. The sun was almost too hot to be in, and I wish I had worn shorts. I do not think this winter party is over, but sure is strange to have flowers up in my garden and to have these temperatures this time of year. I am still holding out hope that we get a strong spring cycle of snow before this winter party is over with. Here is a picture of me on Meditation Rock enjoying the sunshine.