Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mirror Lake Sled Assist Fest

Got a call from Alice a week or so ago to say that she and her boyfriend were going to be heading down to Utah from Washington and were interested in renting a yurt or hut. Gramps and I started pulling together some ideas and I decided to rent the Boundary Yurt, just south of Evanston Wyoming in the Uinta Mountains. I had ski toured at this yurt earlier this season with Nate and Tara and was fairly familiar with the powder terrain in the area. For this trip, however, Gramps and his friend John would be bringing their snowmobiles, so we could do some exploration in on the Mirror Lake Highway, an area traditionally only seen by skiers after the road is open, usually early June. After a day of skiing amazing recrystallized powder shots by the yurt, we took the snowmobiles on a long rally up the Mirror Lake Highway on St. Patricks Day, searching for our own pot of gold, in the form of snow filled Couloirs. We had two sleds, and Gramps' sled was having some overheating trouble, so John ended up towing Me, Alice, Lehua, and Stacy behind his sled for 10 out of the approximately 15 miles we drove in search of a line to ski. We ended up finding an amazing west facing coilour off North Ridge of Hayden Peak. The west facing couloir was not like anything I expected to find in the Uintas. It was truly alpine in nature, with solid snowpack and amazing rock lined walls for approximately 1,500 feet. Upon booting over the ridge, where we expected to find wind scoured Uinta garbage, we instead found another couloir, in fact, an entire cirque on the opposite east facing side. This aspect was still powder and we obviously had to ski one if these couloirs as well. We returned to the saddle where Alice and Lehua were waiting for us, to find the west facing coilour in perfect corn conditions. We skied it like the boyz, returned to the sleds, and drove the 15 miles back to the yurt to enjoy a steak BBQ and libations imported from Washington. -
Adam M. Lawton

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