When going up is the fun part

Climbing Stevens Peak

The best part of the tour

Mild temps in January are nothing new, but the jump from butt-cold to t-shirt weather is a bit jarring.  It’s a decided mental shift to go from 20 degrees to more than double that.  That said, I’m used to a spring thaw during my birthday month, so I was looking forward to today’s jaunt to Steven’s Peak, whose wide bowls are usually a delight for corn-lovers.

Well.  I guess it wasn’t as cold the past few nights as we’d thought, for the snow was neither consolidated nor frozen when we hit the skin track this morning.   Optimism, or magical thinking  encouraged us to keep climbing, as we figured elevation = colder temps and a greater chance of consolidated snow.     It was a bit less manky at the top, but only just.

The snow on the descent, while technically the same stuff we climbed up, was noticeably more wet, sticky and grabby.   The turns that I earned on the way down were not pretty, and only got uglier the lower we skied.  But the dog had a blast, so there’s that.

Oddly enough, while we were the only ones out when we set out at the crack of 10, we began seeing groups skinning up on our descent midday.  With the fabulous conditions only getting worse as the day went on, I can only imagine what they all encountered on their descent.

As for me, I’m doing my snow and “Can we return to seasonal weather now?” dances at double time.  Feel free to join me.

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