Monday, January 4, 2010

Days Fork and Main Days

Yesterday Mike and I went to Days Fork entering from Alta exiting at Spruces. The picture to the left shows Cardiac Bowl and Ridge seen from Reed & Benson ridge (click to enlarge). Conditions are generally good with some localized weaknesses. With our current snow cover (or lack thereof) you definitely want to remain as high as ever possible. The picture to the right is of Mike on Reed & Benson ridge looking into Days and the Park City ridge line behind.
Our first ski was down from between Flagstaff and the Days Fork headwall. The snow was nice, creamy and stable. After that we went to the top of Main Days and dug a pit on the north facing. Schematically speaking the pit showed about a foot and a half distributed as follows: Soft powder on the top third, harder and crustier on the third below and at the bottom a third of really rotten “sugar”. I got kind of impressed being on a major avy path that, admittedly in very worst case scenario, could break to the ground. We skied the somewhat more benign east facing shots and they felt really stable (no cracking, whomping or any other signs of weakness). After that we worked our way down the drainage, one ridge line at a time. The last run was a couple of ridgelines down from Banana Days. It started at about 10,100 and dropped to about 8,700 of sustained fall line, so a really nice line. However on the top steeper part the snow cover was quite markedly thinner than everything we skied higher up that day. I guess this means that until another couple of storms hits, we will need to ski the really high terrain exclusively… Below is a picture of one of many dramatic parts of the Reed & Benson ridge (click to enlarge).

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