Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thanks Scott Duley!

As I was about to take off on my skins from the gate where the road to Empire and Guardsman’s Pass is no longer winter maintained, this really nice guy offered me a ride on his snowmobile up to the pass. I figured that that’s one bonus lap right there and happily jumped on. Scott (see below) was on his way home; he has a cabin on Bonanza Flats where he has been living the last ten years. He gets perfect isolation and extra long winters: what’s there not to like! Some will argue that, what’s there not to like, is taking your groceries in by snowmobile. Sounds like groceries shopping just got promoted from chore to cool adventure…
Scott, his Skidoo and my skis on the snow.
Whatever the case may be with that, I was out on yet another conditioning tour, not much else to do these days since the only aspect that holds enough snow for a meaningful ski is the exact same as the highest avalanche risk including facets all the way down to the ground! Snow cover is slim everywhere except on northern aspects where the cover often is quite decent. I got a ridge hike from Empire Pass to Empire Express top, skied out to Empire Lodge and then skinned back up to the car. I am hoping that by Tuesday things will have settled enough that we'll be able to have a good touring day with at least some high value northern slopes being doable. 
View down towards Snake Creek

Bonanza Flats in its splendid winter season isolation.

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