Saturday, March 10, 2012

Somewhere In The Purcell Mountains

Doug and I just spent a couple of nights at a tiny little cabin in the Purcell Mountains. We'd heard about this cabin from friends - it is one of those semi-secret cabins - but had never got around to skiing in, and had no exact directions for locating the cabin. But, there was a good weather forecast, swiftly to be followed by a bad weather forecast, so we took advantage of having no fixed time-table and skied in.

It was a bit of a slog in, trail-breaking was heavy with lots of new snow, and there is substantial elevation gain, but, simply by putting one foot in front of the other, we arrived in the vicinity of the cabin. Quite a bit of searching was required to find it, shovel it out, and stamp out trails to the outhouse and slop spot. When we finally came inside for the night, it was almost 6.00 pm, and we had been going solidly since 10 am.

We had a wonderful day and half of skiing in the area after that. Our plans for traversing towards some larger mountains to the north were scuppered by a steep slope that we felt too susceptible to avalanches to descend in the current conditions, but, we enjoyed ourselves skiing smaller slopes and skiing to the summits of ridges both north and south of the cabin.

On our last morning, the weather was clear, and we skied up to one of the ridges to enjoy the views that had been hidden by cloud during the previous day. It was windy and cold on top, but we stayed up there soaking in the magnificent surroundings until we were chilled and needed to depart.

In some ways, the ski out was more challenging than the ski in, as the road we skied down was steep, narrow and icy for at least half it's length. But, despite some challenges at the beginning and end of this trip, it was well worth it. 
Somewhere in the Purcell Mountains

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