Saturday, May 1, 2010

Back Country in Beehive Basin, Big Sky, Montana

Its May 1, and today I had the pleasure of doing a little back country skiing with my friend Jill Imsand from Big Sky. We headed up to Beehive Basin, and got our gear together. The first trip out of the season is always a bit of a goat rope when I'm getting organized, and we took our time getting out there. There was about 20" of new snow over the last two days, and we skinned up through crazy weather, it was alternately sunny and snowing.

I forgot all about globstopper for the skins, and about twenty minutes into our hike I realized that my skins weren't sliding anymore, I was picking up huge chunks of snow under my feet and having to balance on them like high heeled platform shoes. Sticky and slow going, but I was glad to be out and getting some exercise, visiting with Jill and playing on my skis.

We headed up to the ridge, by the time we got up there, another storm had moved in, and we decided to just do one lap down the front side and scrub our idea to play on the backside for a while. We toured off the ridge, and found a fun steep shot to drop into. The snow was so deep where the wind had deposited it that we got huge sprays over our heads, big fluffy clouds to ski through, and a ton of bounce.

I was telling Jill that its funny that I always argue in my head about hiking, I love to be out and get fit, but sometimes I complain in my mind. And then, its always worth it. Those first turns off the ridge were a bit nervous, the snow was deep and sticky for powder, and I didn't want to fall and load the slope any more.

But as soon as I started bouncing and feeling that freedom, I couldn't help but be thrilled. As we came out of the steeper stuff and onto the mellow terrain, we started milking the face for just two more good turns. We came across a couple on our way back to the skin track who were touring with their dogs, and the woman was so excited to see us!

"Was that you guys up in those cliffs? Oh, its so nice to see girls out there going hard! Good job! Was it fun? Is it very steep?" It was funny and flattering and kind of nice to have gotten her so excited that the people she'd been watching were girls. Jill and I felt proud, and a bit silly, but happy.

It was a beautiful day, a great adventure with a good friend, we got about five nice shots on our one run, picked up some Pacificos and headed home.

Its dumping again, our plan right now is to ski in the Bridgers early in the morning and then I'll head to Salt Lake on my way home to Aspen and my kiddos, who are groaning because its been dumping there, too!

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