Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Porter Fork Trail

Trying to avoid the "Considerable" risk on the UAC avalanch rose but still needing to do 3,000 feet+ elevation gain and wanting to bring the dogs, I went to Main Porter Fork in Mill Creek. You start at the trail head at 5,960 feet and you end up at a bit below 9,300 on north facing terrain that, in regards to avy risk, is "steep enough". Incidentally here is what the UAC avalanch rose looked like this morning:

As you can see the limit of "Considerable" on north facing terrain is 9,500 feet so this tour was kind of OK if all you want is to limit yourself to "Moderate" risk.

In any case Mill Creek was as delightful as always. The temperature was 9 degrees F at the start of the tour but no wind so not too cold. It was a bit more overcast than the weather forecast led us to believe but still more than pleasant enough.

Here are the pictures (click to enlarge):

Jana working her way up

Your's truly with Skadi in the foreground and Loki behind me.

The originator of this impressive slide path seems to thankfully be purging
as the storms come and go.
Looking north a little below Main Porter.

A backcountry dog's life... Skadi got just in front of my tips in the powder
on Main Porter. She ended up at the vet getting stitches and is now
"grounded" for 14 days. She is going to hate beeing left behind
when Loki gets to go skiing.

Iron Mtn 12-26-2016

This is one spot I haven't been to in years (ever since The Colony has taken over and built houses and roads all over the place). This used to be a great little local outing. Today if you do the ridge line you'll get a bit over 1,000 feet elevation gate before you hit the development. You can double that by taking a sharp left, then summiting Iron, go east for a bit and pick one of the three bowls. In any case, yesterday I needed to test my legs and health coming out of a longish flue so Iron would do for the job at hand. Being out with two dogs and seeing the crowds on the Iron Mtn trail I decided to almost immediately take a sharp left and skin up the ridgeline. This came with the additional benefits of getting into the sun sooner (it was only 5 degrees F yesterday morning), and a more relevant "leg test" as you here have to break your own trail. There was a fair amount of really dry cold powder and this little mini-outing turned out to be a lot more pleasant than expected. The test also worked out great: I am officially not ill at all anymore (at least not physically..). Here are the pictures (click to enlarge):
Iron Mountain as seen from the Pinecone ridge line.

The dogs (Loki & Skadi) as excited as ever.

A fair amount of snow for being just 8,300 feet.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Empire Powder

This was a few days before this last storm and the conditions were already absolutely excellent. Jana and I went out for a couple of easy laps from Deer Valley Empire Lodge to Empire Express. Here are the pictures (click to enlarge):
Nice turns in Empire bowl.

Jana working here way up Supreme.

Snowmobile track all the way up Supreme.

Looking down on Empire Express top station.

Jana on top.