Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Urses Minor

So the first trip from the Discovery Centre was with an amazing couple from southern British Columbia just over the border from Idaho.  Unfortunately, we didn’t take our cameras out once that day so we have no photos but when we get them from Gary and Eva we will post them.  (Hint hint, Gary!)  When we got to the lodge at the pass we decided it was BEER time and sat in their lounge, very quickly other splitters arrived and we all started comparing our travels so far.  The days we have had, the lack of snow, and the relief that we were now in the deep powder we have been looking for.  In addition, many splitters from the forums started to recognize our story and remembered our posts from the website.  A really fun and friendly couple, Gary and Eva, had even checked out our blog and were excited to meet us. 

Following the film fest that evening Hannah went over to Eva and asked if she would like to tour with us, she found out they were familiar with the pass and they had a plan but would love it if we toured with them.  The plan started with a short trip into the Urses drainage and up into an area called Grizzly Shoulder.  After a little over a kilometer skin we entered into this huge valley with slide path after slide path emptying into where we stood.  Well there also happened to be about 15 other people about to head up to the summit of Grizzly Mountain.  Eva and I decided maybe we should head deeper into the valley and head up another area that may be less crowded and with more fresh powder.  Not long after we started to break trail a group of skinners came past us and told us the beta about the Urses Minor tree runs.  Well it sounded like a lot of fun and a long deep dish of powder.  So we headed out after this group of 5 and started our long slog of five kilometers which took us maybe 4 to 5 hours until we got as high as Hannah's blisters would allow.  From the base of Grizzly to the base of Urses we gain about 400 meters then we climbed up and I mean UP at an obnoxious angle that had me truly puckered.  When we got to our stopping point, we had hiked another 300 meters bringing us to about 2000 meters above sea level.  Gary and Eva kept going higher and we dug a deep pit in some trees to have lunch and stay warm.  We got to see a few other people come zipping off the summit while we waited for Gary and Eva to come back down.  Our run back to the skin track was powdery and euphoric and we were happy with what we accomplished, 420 meters of vertical and 1-kilometer long run.  Then after all that, we still had 3 kilometers of hiking out. 

We had a great time at Rogers and hope to continue a tradition of going to this particular splitfest every year.  Thanks to Wade for putting it on and again thanks to Gary and Eva for being amazing hosts. 

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