Red Burn Days

January 22


It was a very interesting weekend. Down in the valley it's a red burn, meaning no wood or coal can be used for heating and it's suggested motor vehicles should not be used.

I violated the second rule with a commute to the mouth of the canyons, then taking the bus.Up in the mountains the air is clean and weather is great.


On the 23rd I went to Broads and climbed to the ridge for this view of the valley looking across Stairs Gulch.




The 22nd was a Saturday with those stuck in the valley seeking relief from the red burn conditions and I expected to see more than one or two other ski tourers. I got off the bus at Deep Powder House crossed the road and headed up from the guard station, destination unknown.



After stopping at the trees for the ritualized break, a short walk revealed a crowd headed up Flagstaff. The decision was made to head for Cardiff, in part to get better photos of the avalanche cycle there, possibly going into Mineral also.



I descended Holy Toledo, which although skiable was windboard and firm, taking the traverse over the bottom of the power lne ridge into main Cardiff.


Once there I saw the heli was on Cardiac ridge so I headed up towards the bowl through the avi debris hoping to avoid a meeting, since there was some controversy from this entry on my web site. Don't know exactly why cuz it wasn't my actions, but I didn't need any more trouble. That glide crack makes me nervous.



I'd walked for some distance when the heli landed on top of Superior, so I changed course heading for the ridge thinking I could remain out of the way. Almost made it when the last group skied and the guide went out of his way on the descent to tell me they were leaving as if that wasn't known. I kept silent and continued.


Guess I wasn't the only one, since when I turned around near the top of the ridge I discovered others on the track. Reaching the ridge I fgured I could ditch the others by descending into Mineral via the west facing, just outside the avalanche path in upper Mineral. The descent was made to the toe of the slide.




The skiing into Mineral wasn't bad, with a mixed variety of snow condtions. Looks like a few others had followed the route I'd done previously. Interested in the activity from preiously spotted naturals in Mill B South I went up and skied the west facing exiting Mineral just before others followed.




There was an avalanche cycle in Mill B South also with most of the east facing avalanching during the storm. My camera had mistakenly been shifted into movie mode and the battery was dead with the storge used up, but I captured this photo from a screen shot.




I continued down traversing past the Sundial where I put the skins back on and went to have a view of the slide off Dromedary. Very large and covered some distance taking out trees.



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