Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Skiing Marias Pass

The powder is getting harder to find and the forecast for Marias Pass was "6-8 mph south winds" so we thought we'd go explore Little Dog since it has such a cute name. "LD" sits east of Elk Mtn and west of Summit just north of the pass. Winds, of course, were 30 mph gusting to 40 out of the north. We climbed from the Autumn Ck. trail up the SW ridge to the westerly basin and then skied the NE face of LD, then back up the ridge and down the south face from the saddle between LD and Summit. Very little snow - maybe 18" at the pass and anywhere from none to enough to ski above 8000 feet.

Good front pointing up the SW ridge.

Cruising up the west ridge of LD on some of the only soft snow of the day.

Jess finding a rare pocket of soft snow on the wind hammered NE face.

Awesome view of Brave Dog from the backside of Little Dog. Are they related?

Making sure the skis don't blow away. That's the NE face we skied in the background. It would be great turns if one could find soft snow - probably a rarity up here.

We returned from the low point on the saddle. Much more skiable than it looks. The narrowest point is about 30 feet wide. At noon when we descended the south facing snow was pretty good, but much later and it would have been sketchy. A combination of softening crust, heavy powder and fresh corn. You never know 'til you go.

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