As with all skiing tours, the word “adventure” fits wonderfully as a description. Though, I think when Spring rolls around-the word takes on new meaning. Take yesterday for example….
Scott Miller and I headed out of town with Scott opting for a start of 7am instead of the typical pre-sunrise dawn patrol (Scott was sore and wanted some sleep as he had been moving stone the previous few days prepping for a new patio). When we left, I mentioned that I’d always had my eye on Mount McGowan’s central couloir and we decided to give it a go since the road to Stanley Lake was open and the snow line was still low. So, on this tour, the word adventure covers these events: leaving the car just before 9am (way late); crossing the creek was exciting what with wet logs from snow, rain and the dog; finding our way through the marsh and spooking a cow Elk; finding a foot+ of new snow which fell the previous few days; watching wet slides erupt on the opposite South facing slopes; seeing my dog get carried down in a wet slide (she ended up on top as it settled); and making the wise decision to turn around a 1/2 hour from the summit, because, even though the snow we were in was shaded, good, and stable, McGowan has a few slopes above and right of its central couloir which were picking up the sun’s radiation and making the snow unstable; hence the dogs ride.
It was a classic Spring skiing adventure and the bonus of turning around before the summit is that we just want to get up there again that much more!