Tuesday, December 30, 2014

That's a Wrap

I just want to take all of about 90 seconds to acknowledge something here: this blog. As the year comes to a close, this blog has hosted 43 posts in the past 365 days, one more post than last year. Though I don't post nearly as much as I did when I wrote for a living, the blog has in some ways become more active. The Trail gets hit 2,000 times per month, and in the past two years has nearly doubled its lifetime hits. The most active posts remain gear reviews. Trip reports such as Bomber Traverse, skiing Mount Ascension, the Ruth and so on are fairly active as well.

It’s satisfying to see those numbers. I’ve found links to my posts in forums far and wide. I’m glad some folks get something from it. Admittedly, this blog is just as much for a public audience as it is for my own entertainment. I really enjoy keeping up with it, and equally, enjoy looking back on weekends, adventures, thoughts, and life stages gone by.

Thanks for reading!

In other news, here are some photos from skiing the past two weeks.

Skiing with Jeremy and Anthony on Sunburst. With a dangerous weak layer in play, conservative skiing was the name of the game but still fun.

Nathan and I went over to Magnum the same weekend to get a better look at the layer. Here was our second pit of the day in PMS bowl.

Nathan gets a better look at old slide debris on Magnum's west face from the November meltdown. The mini-fridge sized block was full of ground debris and hard as a rock.

The fabled ptarmigan pit. Though worthless in determining snowpack stability, these pits can shed important light on the diet of the feathered mountain dwellers.

This grainy image was captured during the 1940 International Split Ski Championships held on Magnum Mountain in Alaska. Here, an Italian competitor exhibits immaculate split ski free-heel form in the Pushki slalom course. Photo N.W.

Cody came up with the best skin track snack idea: Dinner rolls with ham and cheese (or prosciutto and prov) wrapped up. The two-bite snacks don't weigh much, pack easily, and are loaded with carbs, fat, salt, and a bit of protein.

Skiing solo on Xmas day it looked like I wold have Tin Can largely to myself. The day started with heavy snow, but the winds kicked up hard and blew out to blue sky, inverting tracks in the bowl.

The trees still skied well, and the quiet was much appreciated.

Miles and I made the best of what we thought would be wind-effected Sunburst on Friday. Conditions were much better than expected.

A nice view of Basketball from Magnum.

Nathan leaves a contrail as he drops the low cornice into PMS.

Joe drops into PMS Bowl

Joe squishes ants on a log on Sunburst. While the neighboring ridge looked like the Chilkoot Trail, we shared PMS with 4 other skiers, one big dog, and 2 avi forecasters. Not bad for an otherwise busy day.

We assessed exiting via the west face. The thought was that the first pitch was going to be pretty scratchy, even peppery, hopefully below that better. As we discussed this, the bowl lit up in vibrant orange. The choice was obvious, we took a third lap in PMS. Photo J.E.

Our choice to take the long route out let us enjoy a gorgeous twilight and headlamp ski back down Sunburst.

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