Cold day with thin coverage on Mount Ellis

December 20th, 2008

Lower Mount Ellis

A large mass of arctic air came down over Bozeman last week, bringing bone-chilling -20F weather. I was nursing a cold that week so, combined with the cold, I laid low. At last my health returned and the weather was getting warmer (ish) so I set out for a tour on Saturday. I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of weekend tours since I got the Midweek pass at Bridger.

It looks deep here - it's notIt wasn’t really that warm yet (-10F) so my friend Brian and I decided to make it a short ski, close to home. That pretty much means Mount Ellis. It is literally right outside of Bozeman, over by Bear Canyon. We waited until it was a little warmer at 11am and loaded up with Brian’s dog. We opted for the New World Gulch approach, by Bear Canyon. This trail takes you up to the Frost featherssaddle between the main Mount Ellis peak and the smaller northern Lower peak. This puts you on the East side, where all the good snow is. It’s low elevation starting right from the valley, so we were only on about 6 to 12 inches of sugary snow - on top of nothing. We were basically skinning directly on all of the rocks and dead fall underneath. I should not have brought my sexy new touring gear… but I have a hard time resisting sexy, to my frequent dismay. Thankfully I was spared any core-shots, but this combined with the fact the dog was shivering made for a short tour. We didn’t even make the ridge. It was a fun day anyway though, since any day out on skis is pretty much a guaranteed good time.

The forest for the trees...

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