Sprinter season

Sprinter season

Joined: October 22nd, 2007, 1:35 am

April 11th, 2011, 1:32 am #1

Idaho skiers have been rejoicing at a lengthy season they call "Sprinter" - part spring, part winter. It's when the calendar says spring, but old man winter hangs on tenaciously.

I took advantage of a classic sprinter weekend to do my first camping trip of the year:


My site had great views of the squalls passing through the Boise Mtns. and western Sawtooths:


In true sprinter style, the weather changed drastically over short time periods. It would snow and graupel like winter for 10 minutes, and then the clouds would part and the strong April sun felt quite warm. But there was always another squall nearby:


I did a big tour on Saturday that included several seldom-traveled burns. Here is one of the three:


Skinning conditions on the south-facing climbs were excellent:


There wasn't much competition for fresh tracks:



A front blew through on Saturday evening that cleared out the squalls. The winds with the front effected the powder on N- and NW-facing slopes, but it also brought lower humidities that dried out the snow nicely. As a result, there was more good skiing on Sunday:




Dare we hope for sprinter before it finally warms up?

Jim

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Joined: September 16th, 2007, 9:07 pm

April 11th, 2011, 11:39 pm #2

Sorry, no pictures, but I made the same sort of Sprinter trip to "Peak 1" to the West of Soldier Mountain ski area over the weekend. Just me and the dog. Great mid-winter conditions, including a harsh storm Saturday night that kept waking us up. 60mph gusts maybe? Then the dog would do his telepathy thing and ask me "What are we doing here again?"

Those ski lines that look so enticing from Fairfield are just as good as you imagine. One could rack up lots more verts in a day quickly than I have the legs for.

I hear there is a cat-ski operation in those parts earlier in the season.

Now what happened to my camera? I could have sworn I left it in the closet....
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Joined: October 22nd, 2007, 1:35 am

April 12th, 2011, 1:54 am #3

That's cool that two Jim's were doing some solo (+/- dog) camping + skiing at the same time.

The Soldiers are great ski hills, as King Ludd can attest. I typically go there only for the corn season because I know the winds are often strong. But I'm sure one can find good, safe powder skiing on selected aspects at most times.

I'll return to the Soliders once Sprinter ends and the corn season to resumes. I still have hopes of doing the 4-3-2-1 tour in a single day, but the conditions will have to be ideal.

I believe there hasn't been any cat skiing in the past couple seasons. King Ludd will know the details on that.

Jim
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

April 12th, 2011, 3:20 am #4

Sorry, no pictures, but I made the same sort of Sprinter trip to "Peak 1" to the West of Soldier Mountain ski area over the weekend. Just me and the dog. Great mid-winter conditions, including a harsh storm Saturday night that kept waking us up. 60mph gusts maybe? Then the dog would do his telepathy thing and ask me "What are we doing here again?"

Those ski lines that look so enticing from Fairfield are just as good as you imagine. One could rack up lots more verts in a day quickly than I have the legs for.

I hear there is a cat-ski operation in those parts earlier in the season.

Now what happened to my camera? I could have sworn I left it in the closet....
For a minute there I thought that Jim C. was a very busy person! Chris and I also went into the Soldiers on Sunday. Splattski took this shot from 8300 on Monday. How could this not inspire you to skin 6 miles one way?

photo from splattski.com (8/3/11)


It was a long tour to get back there, but it was worth it.



The area has "mixed" use as you can see from the tracks down below. We got an early start and avoided the first wave of sleds. Most of the riders are pretty easy to get along with, though. If you bring a rope, bicycle tube, and a carabiner you might even get a tow to the upper bowls.


The view from the notch at the top into the other basin. Looking towards Iron mountain. Looking through the "gunsight", you can see an older slab avalanche.


Unfortunately, we had the same horrible weather that splattski and Big Dan had to contend with on their Soldier trip a few days prior.


On the way out, we skinned up to the top of a cool area that I call "The Maze". There are many different choices of lines and none end in a dead end!
photo from a previous trip up 1st Peak


The corn had cooked a bit too long. But I didn't complain! Attack of the rollerballs!!!


The bottom of "The Maze".


I would say that the next time it's mostly sunny that the corn should be ready to harvest. There's a really good amount of snow up in the Soldiers and it's compacted nicely. Harvest Festival, anyone???

Ralph
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

April 12th, 2011, 4:31 am #5

I almost forgot about the cat skiing question. I'm not exactly sure why it stopped. I've heard it was not because they wanted it to stop. But I don't know the facts, so I'll not interject. I will interject my opinion that this is the only acceptable cat skiing in that area:



Although, it could've been worse:

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005120964
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Dan
Dan

January 7th, 2016, 9:24 pm #6

For a minute there I thought that Jim C. was a very busy person! Chris and I also went into the Soldiers on Sunday. Splattski took this shot from 8300 on Monday. How could this not inspire you to skin 6 miles one way?

photo from splattski.com (8/3/11)


It was a long tour to get back there, but it was worth it.



The area has "mixed" use as you can see from the tracks down below. We got an early start and avoided the first wave of sleds. Most of the riders are pretty easy to get along with, though. If you bring a rope, bicycle tube, and a carabiner you might even get a tow to the upper bowls.


The view from the notch at the top into the other basin. Looking towards Iron mountain. Looking through the "gunsight", you can see an older slab avalanche.


Unfortunately, we had the same horrible weather that splattski and Big Dan had to contend with on their Soldier trip a few days prior.


On the way out, we skinned up to the top of a cool area that I call "The Maze". There are many different choices of lines and none end in a dead end!
photo from a previous trip up 1st Peak


The corn had cooked a bit too long. But I didn't complain! Attack of the rollerballs!!!


The bottom of "The Maze".


I would say that the next time it's mostly sunny that the corn should be ready to harvest. There's a really good amount of snow up in the Soldiers and it's compacted nicely. Harvest Festival, anyone???

Ralph
For Cory and Erik (in case they hadn't seen this trip report)...
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Joined: May 7th, 2015, 3:04 am

January 10th, 2016, 4:31 am #7

Thank you Dan, great info on that ridge. I'm even more intrigued now, but probably won't try a traverse until the snow melts. Again, appreciate it, -Erik
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