I left town this weekend....twice. The plan was to drive up Saturday morning and meet tRoy and his wife for some bike fun in Sedona, and then head up to Flagstaff for some ski fun on Sunday. Strapping my skis and bike to my rack on the new car, I headed out of town, only to realize 40 minutes later that I had left my bike shoes at home. 1 1/2 hr later, I was back where I started with a sore ass and nothing to show for it.
Pressing on, I decided I would truncate my riding in Sedona and settle for something smaller so I could make a dinner date with tRoy, wife and baby. The weather was great with a few snow patches left in the shade of the red rock and frozen puddles glistening in the fading afternoon sunlight. I rode a trail that I have not ridden since I first started mountain biking and was surprised at how much easier it seemed from those tentative weeks after immediately purchasing my 1st mountain bike. Pressing north, I crashed at tRoy's and had some good mexican casserole and beer before turning in.
The next day, I met up with tRoy, cat-driver, ultimate street fighter and the man with the big dog for some turns and some avy transceiver practice. We headed up Humphreys trail at 8 and then left the trail at the Dutchmans avy chute, traversing across to copilot glade (small meadow, viewers left of Dutchmans with the zig zags).
We did transceiver retrieval practice in copilot meadow for an hour or so, working on multiple burial scenarios, after setting up a bootpack on skiers left and farming some freshies.
Yours truly on copilot meadow, trying like hell to squeeze in as many turns as 200ft vertical has to offer.
Some of the most fluid tele turns I've seen, brought to you by Ultimate Street Fighter....don't stare.
A quick bite to eat in the best restaurant in AZ.....cold and greasy chorizo burrito with green chile from Mike and Rhonda's.....yummy when hot, not recommended for eating when cold.
We ascended to treeline through the B-24 crash site
and slowly made our way to Temptations gully.
Cat-Driver taking a break from the very hard windslab and corniced snow dunes 3-6ft tall in the last few-hundred vertical ft before the treeline.
After some slow going through the windslab dunes, we pulled skins and got into ski mode to avoid a slide for life scenario…..or a broken femur similar to what recently happened over on Allison Clay recently. We then traversed over to Temptations gully hoping to find some windblown powder in the gully's and chutes (our ultimate goal for the day). Digging an impromptu pit, I found hard windslab topping rotten faceted snow below in two distinct layers sandwiched in between more hard windslab/suncrust....each faceted zone interrupted with ice lenses. No whumping was observed the whole day and the top layer was pretty bomber, however we started spreading out and keeping an eye on each other just in case. Still driven by the need for some cream cheese turns, we went with plan B and kept traversing across the main gully where we found some very, very nice week old pow-pow in the trees on the south side (northern aspect) of Temptations gully. Cranking tight turns, dodging Bristlecone pine, then Spruce and Aspen; we descended all the way down the nose between gulleys to Humphreys trail where we exited and toasted a nice day in the backcountry. For what it's worth....all of the pictures come via tRoy....my skills this day were limited to taking lame pictures of my burrito.