Yesterday I went up to Mt Ashland to support @ryanghelfi as he attempted to break the North American vertical ski record. His goal was over 62k in 24 hours. Although he fell short, he still climbed over 58,000 ft and covered 78+ miles within a 24 hour period. Simply insane.
Just imagine hiking from Lithia park to the top of mount Ashland…over 10 times…continuously…and on skis. Way to give it all you had Ryan. What an effort it was.
Oh, and props to @mt_ashland_ski_area for the fresh groomers through the evening all the way to 11:30pm 🤘
Yeah…so that was a rad day on the mountain – 12 runs at about a mile long each (plus 4 bonus runs on a short but beautiful secluded zone), 20k vert, 34 miles, 5.5 hours, and a whole lot of joy. Good times in God’s country.
We took a few runs off the summit to the west but low visibility and what we thought my be a bad belt on the sled took us to the north chutes closer to the truck. Turned out to be a great decision. The belt was fine and we found some amazing lines with buttery snow.
Nick had a friend in town so the three of us zipped up to the top of Brown MT and lapped the west side. It was probably quite the sight to see three people riding a single snowmobile up to the top. Worked out better than I thought!
Yesterday was a fun day. Nick and I did some sled skiing off the west side of Brown Mountain. We got ten runs in (five each) at about a mile per run. Snow could have been better, but it was plenty good for sled skiing.
Philip and I took a quick overnight trip to the Marble Mountains Wilderness to check out the “ABCD” lakes. They’re a series of pristine alpine lakes tucked away on a trailless mountain bench above 7,000 ft.
We took Boulder Creek trail which comes in from the north, paralleling the popular Lovers Camp trail a few ridges over. The first 3.5 miles is a brutal climb straight up with over 2500ft of elevation gain (my bad Phil 😝). It’s then another 3-4 miles of side hilling to Deep Lake. The ABCDs are situated directly above.
We attempted to climb up but limited daylight and sore legs changed our minds. We instead opted to camp at Deep Lake and enjoy the little bit of light left.
In the morning Philip was kind enough to chill in camp and watch my dog as I adventured up the steep cliff side to the ABCD lakes (Aspen, Buckhorn, Chinquapin, and Dogwoood)
It took me about 30 min to find a line that wasn’t going to kill me and climb to the top and it was SO worth it. The lakes were crystal clear with high saturation of blue and greens. I made my way to the shoreline of each, ending my exploration with a fantastic dip in Dogwood lake.
Next time I’ll have to make camp at these lakes and spend a few days to soak it all in!
The Russian Wilderness is tucked away in NorCal between Marble Mountains and the Trinity Alps. It’s been on my list for a while now and with Friday off it was the perfect time to give it a visit.
I did some research and found a post about a loop to Big Blue Lake, a rugged high mountain lake nestled between granite crags with no direct trail access – my type of place.
I started at Taylor Lake TH, heading west counterclockwise to Hogan lake where the established trail ends. After snapping a few pics, Tucker and I began trekking off trail around the lake then ascending the steep rocky face up to Big Blue Lake.
We paralleled the drainage stopping a few times to appreciate the water running over slabs of granite. Reaching Big Blue I took a dip in the pristine (and cold) waters then setup camp, made some grub, and enjoyed the views.
After a lazy morning we worked our way up the steep eastern side of the lake, over the top and down into Upper Albert lake, then further down to Albert Lake. At this point we were reconnected with the trail system which took us to Paynes lake, then around the ridge and back to Taylor lake from the day before.
All in it was about a 10 mile trek, five miles from either side of the Big Blue, and 2,700 feet of vert. I’ll be back to this lake for sure!