Banner Ridge ski tour

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We cross-country ski toward Archie Mountain, but don't summit.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

When I skied to the Elkhorn Yurt with Mariel, Dylan, and Lew, I realized there was huge potential for touring in this area. So Gordy and I headed back on what promised to be a fantastic day of skiing: the snow had settled and clear weather was predicted. Our goal for the day, loosely defined, was to head toward Archie Mountain, and ski up it if we had the time and energy.

Usually I like to show the whole trip. However, when we left the car at 8:30am, it was 9 below zero. So I didn't take a lot of photos until later, and these start at our turn-around for the day: lunch.

 

Here we are, as far as we were going to ski on this glorious day. I had always wanted to lunch with Jacques-yves Cousteau.

Lunch with Jacques Cousteau

Since our lunch was also our highpoint for the day, we had to crank a few teles on the way down the hill. Gordy is in profile at the top of the hill (click for a larger version). The big splat in the middle of the picture is the source of my nickname: splattski.

splattski

There's a tiny red arrow showing the hilltop where we had lunch. On the way back, it got quite warm (well, at least as long as you weren't in the shade). This is about half-way back to the car. Round trip was something close to 15 miles.

Gord basking

And there, folks, is the Banner Ridge yurt, tucked into the sunny side of the little bowl on the left. This yurt is poised at the edge of a lot of north-facing slopes, offering extended tele opportunities in the old burn area.

We got back to the car around 3. This was a 7-hour round trip, even though we really had great conditions. We started on green wax, but moved to blue. There was hoar frost on the snow, which wore the wax off very quickly. But although the terrain is consistently rolling, the climbs are rarely long or steep- the longest by far is the climb up to the yurt.

 

Banner Ridge yurt

Mr. Natural Home | 2006 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski