|It was almost like spring the third weekend of January 2005 but by mid-week
winter was sneaking back in, well sort of. Warm temps brought drizzle to the
valley floors so I decided I best get off the valley floor.
I headed for the Egan crest via Murray Summit Pass. Even though you get
up on a pass driving you still have to travel 5 miles to make it up above the
10,000 foot level. The good thing is that it's 3,000 feet of all down hill at the
end of the day.
I had hoped to make it further than I did but the cloud cover kept me off the
high point of the main ridge. Instead of zero visibility on the summit I opted
for turns off several tree covered peaks in an area I refer to as Blue Grouse
Peaks. Every time I'm on these peaks I find Blue Grouse hence the name.
On this day I didn't actually see any grouse for photo opportunities but I did
see their tracks.
The conditions were re-frozen corn on an east face, a creamy 4 inches of
soft snow in the trees on the same face, and actual powder on a north face,
to top it off there was actually corn on a northwest face at at the 9,000 foot
Overall it was one of my favorite solo days of the season as I skied lines I've
never skied and I was on skis for 8 hours straight with a half hour lunch
break. A long day at the office.
Solo skiing is sometimes best for me as I forget to slow down, sufferfests
don't seem so bad if there is no one there to let you know that you are
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