At the invitation of Randy, I headed up the hill for some BC fun this weekend and an overnight at the snow cave. The recent return of high pressure to the area earlier in the week brought high westerly winds which stripped a lot of the latest snow off of western aspects above treeline. The following above average temps baked the remaining powder into 1-inch thick mank in the trees. Based on this, we scrapped our plans for Lew (Philomena Springs) Canyon and sought some wind/sun-protected areas in the trees off of Temptations ridge and gully. Cresting the treeline, we traversed across Temptations itself. Randy had no trouble traversing, but the ice was giving my dull edges fits and caused me to eject one of my skis in skin mode as I was hammering out an edge hold...leaving me exposed with only my uphill ski holding me to the mountain with an icy runout a couple hundred feet below. After some creative yoga assisted by my now anchored poles, I managed to hack out a ledge large enough to stabilize myself and the wayward ski which I had caught with my downhill boot before it had a chance to fly by itself. After this bit of drama, I convinced Randy to pull skins and traverse across in ski mode....much better. Unfortunately, that was most of the excitement for the day. Even the northern aspects of Temptations gully were suspect to the warming temps with crusty conditions interspersed in between cream-cheese powder.
Retreating back to the cave after our day I shot some B-roll which sums up 98% of the days activities.
Sundown pano from the Snowcave looking WNW
Light from the snowcave entrance
After a nice sleep in the cave, a hot cup of Yerba Mate and a fire brings us back to life....
Views of the approaching light...note the shadow of Kendrick Peak (center) cast upon the pink haze on the horizon(center left).
Panorama of the approaching light.
Another shadow, this time of the Kachina peaks and ridges, Aggasiz on the left, Humphreys on the right with the 2 false summits to the left of Humprhreys clearly seen.
Looking north, a view of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon -Coconino Sandstone glowing pink in the morning glow.
Fritschi Tecton Brake Seance
5 hours ago