It was 2:00 in the morning yesterday and I reluctantly rolled out of my toasty covers in a daze. The familiar feeling of your confused body being jolted to reality while quietly preparing ski gear is always evident on mornings of dawn patrols. It was 6 degrees at my apartment in the valley, I went and got another layer before we left. After frantically assembling our gear at the trailhead while cursing the bitter subzero temperatures Jeff, Carston, and I finally started hiking at about 3:15 ish, shooting to be at the top of Bonkers when first light hits.
One reason why I love dawn patrols is hiking in the dark. There is something so surreal about being in your own little circle of light from your headlamp, skinning in total solitary, surrounded by the darkness of towering mountains, trees, and shrouded by a magnificent starry night sky. This is when the whole world fades away and you are completely in the moment. The frozen air fills your lungs and you set your own repeating pace while the hours melt away. I kept thinking how happy I am, how blessed I am to have this unexplainable passion for skiing and there is really nothing else I would rather be doing at this moment in time.
The last part of the hike was challenging to say the least as we hiked the last portion of the steeps. Skis not biting, slipping everywhere, sketchy kickturns every 6 steps, blech… I think it took an hour to make it like 100 feet. Finally, after hiking a good six hours and 6100 ft vert we reached the windy ridge. The view was incredible and it was pretty amazing how high up we were. I can’t believe how cold it was, we waited up there for probably 45 minutes total waiting for light, Nate and Erica were on an opposite ridge to shoot. It was seriously unhealthy how cold it was, we later found out it got to negative 14 degrees in some of the drainages, and I believe it. Finally we got to ski it, the appeal of Bonkers is it is described as one of the Wasatch’s finest pow runs, a 2400 foot shot of just wide open AK style skiing. Monster avalanches can rip there so we were careful to be sure the conditions were safe and were lucky to have great snow as well. It was such a sick run, you can really open it up and not be done with it in one or two turns. Definitely one I am going to remember. Carston skied the last half of it switch, impressive for sure. Didn’t get too many photos because my camera wasn’t working due to the cold and the light didn’t work out as planned for Nate. Oh well.
Sun rising up in Broads;
Me on the lower (sunny) part
Good times, good friends, good fun. My toes still hurt and the nails are even blacker. Such is life.
Now can we PLEASE get some more snow here already?!?!!