Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thank you Mr. President, for Great Basin National Park

Adam and I went on a trip to Great Basin National Park on the spur of the moment. He said it was going to be sunny at the Park tomorrow and we needed to go. We left SLC at 9pm, arrived at the park at 1:30am, and woke up at 5:45 to realize I forgot the white gas. No breakfast and coffee. Arg.

With views to the east across the Great Basin to the House Range I came across this dead Bristlecone that looks like Jar Jar Binks from the new Star Wars. What does it look like to you?
After several miles of skiing 15 degree slopes and flats we got to the buisness. Just below the tree line we skinned by some 4,000 to 5,000 year old Bristlecone Pines, the oldest known living organism in the world. ( ) I found it amazing that Bristlecones are found below massive slide paths that run frequently and are still standing for thousands of years.

When we got up to the Glacier Basin we saw some nice ski trails. Due to very high winds we couldn’t ski it and decided to keep heading up.
This is the only Glacier in Nevada and the states highest peak. It is a very small glacier below the north face of Wheeler at 13,065 feet.
We kept heading west and acscended to the south up a ramp to a ridge and up the shoulder to the top of Wheeler. There were 100 mph winds on the summit ridgeline so we decided to ditch our skis and hike the last 500 vertical feet to the top. We skied down some nice Sastrugi and windboard on a north facing 30 degree ramp, then traversed back east, the way we acscended. When we left the alpine we got into the trees and found some 30-35 degree powder tree skiing!

After a 20 mile round trip and 11 hour of touring we called it a day and drove back to the SLC in an empty desert with an empty stomach. I would reccomend this place to ya’ll if you enjoy skiing where no one else goes in the winter. Or you can wait till they plow the road to the upper lot and go ski some coliours if theres still snow and cut off miles of approach.


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