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October was almost gone and we had only had two significant snowfalls so far. I found calf deep snow in the JPW after Xena rolled through. I figured it was worth a shot to pack the skis and see what Elvira had left for us. Nate and Otina joined for this “exploratory” mission.
From the trailhead, the cover looked a little better from Elvira than it did after Xena:
Because the cover was only a few inches down low, we booted the South Boulder Creek trail:
The Forest Lakes trail didn’t look much better:
The snow depth gradually increased as we made our way above Arapaho Creek:
At the edge of the familiar meadow we took a good food break and decided to try our luck skinning. This would be the first skinning I’ve done since some time last spring:
We made it up to a known high point above a nice low-angle windloaded gully and pulled the skins off:
And slid gently between the trees:
It was pretty slow moving so we really had to work to wiggle some turns:
Otina didn’t seem to mind the wiggle-turn efforts:
We cut back towards the main area and found a nice steeper shot through some timber:
Otina dodges a branch:
And finds another nice shot:
With the cover as thin as it was, every little bridge was exposed which made for a little excitement:
The skiing pretty much sucked, it was hard work booting up to the deeper cover, the skinning over deadfall was miserable, but in the end we got a few good SOFT turns which made it all worth it. That and some Ned-Mess and fresh ale on the way home made for a beautiful day in the wilderness with good friends. Next time it might actually be good for more than a handful of turns!