Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rock and Ice... Skiing

Brian, Dwight and I headed up the Ram Valley access trail in search of some skiing. We wanted to stay close to town because we had a thing that night, but we also wanted to explore something new that was away from the crowds of Turnagain. We took a chance and lost in the snow area, but made up for that in scenery. 

Niko has learned how to take short naps along the way when he suspects we will be out all day... dogs are so good at conserving energy. This nap was around 15 seconds.

Heading up to Falling Water Valley. Brian has been up here three times since we first discovered it on our way out to Ram Valley last June. Once to hike it, once to bike it, and now to ski.

There was this flat light over the entire Eagle River Valley, but it made for this beautiful eerie gray and white setting.

We decided to follow a skin track up to the ridge. It was already looking a little thin and we suspected we'd have a nice hike with a not-so-nice survival ski back down.
We took our skins off at the top of some point 4600 something or other and started the quick but slightly terrifying descent. Brian took off and said, "Follow me! I'll warn you of any rocks as they come." He turned down the slope, took two turns and immediately skied over a band of rocks a crashed. Dwight avoided the rocks and gracefully swished all the way down the mountain. After Brian collected himself he too had no problem. I however was very cautious for fear of hitting rocks and ruining my new skis. It was a two turn at a time kind of thing that made my progress down very slow.

The bottom was a bit of a ski-whack back through the trees, so we put our skins back on and slowly made our way down. It was a challenging but satisfying day out! This area will be fun to ski once more powder falls. A lot more powder. We got back to the road five or six hours later, tired and happy.

Niko disliked the descent


Thad said...

So... does Niko pull someone up with that fancy harness?

Julie said...

Only when we're really tired.