Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, February 1, 2016

Copper Mountain

I'd been watching the snow pile up on the Banner Summit SNOTEL site for the last couple of weeks, and after Friday's 8" dump I was ready to give it a go.  Tamara and I met up with John, in Banks, and negotiated the elk filled roads to Banner Summit.

It was a little after 9AM when we pulled into the un-plowed wide spot on Highway 21 and started to unload.  After carefully stashing a couple of special post ski beers in the snow between the car and 7 foot wall of snow that marked the road edge, we were off!
Beautiful morning!
Luckily, someone had put in a skin track on Saturday, so we didn't have to break trail.  There was an inch or two of fresh snow from Saturday on top of the 8" from Friday.  It was about 10 degrees, the sun was out, and there wasn't any wind. It was looking good!

Tamara cruising up
This section was begging to be skied

As we progressed up, we made a few stops to strip layers, drink and chat.  Before we knew it, the summit was in sight.
John nearing the summit
Tamara on top (J. Platt photo)
Summit Splattski sans Splattski
The top couple hundred feet was a bit wind affected, but once we got past this section it was silky smooth!  So silky smooth that we ended up doing three laps!

All I could think about as we skied up the road to the car was the stashed beer.  Unfortunately, the snow plow had pushed up a 4 foot mountain of snow between the car and snow wall removing my footprints that led to the beer.  Oh, well, no worries.  We'll just use our shovels and dig it out.  Fifteen minutes later, we had moved the mountain of snow around, but could not locate the beer.  Dang!  Next time I'll bring a cooler.

 Splattski's Trip Report

Monday, January 4, 2016

Red Mountain Resort Family Ski Trip

For the last few years we have been taking a short family ski holiday between Christmas and New Years.  It's a great way to spend time with Taylor and Dylan, since neither currently live in Idaho.

This year we went a little big and went north to Red Mountain Resort, in British Columbia. The criteria for this year was small town and large vertical drop.  Red delivered these aspects and more!

The first morning out we hooked up with a Snow Host, Doug, to show us around the mountains.  Yes, plural - there are three mountains.  This was a great way to get a feel for the place.
Dylan and Tamara with Doug
Chairlift selfie sans Mom (triple chair)
Heading up
Coming down
Taylor cutting it up
The first day was spent in the cold, but the views were phenomenal, above the "Kootenay Sea!"

We spent the rest of the afternoon skiing in and out of the clouds.  That afternoon we found a base - Rossland Beer Company!  These guys are a small operation and they put out some great beer.
Bicycle art in front of Rossland Beer Company
The second day was spent further exploring the ski area, specifically looking for the few remaining powder stashes.  Our first foray didn't turn out too well.  The trees were too tight and we ran into large rocky drop offs.  So, after lunch, Dylan and I took off looking for tree skiing while the girls stayed on the cruisers.

We spent a half hour hiking from the top of one of the lifts (Grey Mountain) to another peak (Mt. Kirkup) that is serviced by the resorts snowcats (unfortunately it wasn't opened).  From here we enjoyed a great powder run that brought us back to the lift.  At this point we met a local, Jamie, who had been skiing the area for 58 years.  He took us under his wing for a couple of runs, showing us his personal powder stashes!

The ladies enjoyed themselves as well.

The third day was more of the same.  We took the gals to show them Jamie's powder stashes (sorry Jamie) and polished off what remained of the untracked.

After getting beat up for three days straight, the ladies decided to rest on our final day.  We all had a leisurely breakfast before Dylan and I headed back into the sidecountry.  Our destination this time was Record Mountain, a little over 1.5 miles from the resort backcountry gate.  We had a great skin in the sunshine and reached the summit in a little over an hour.

Record Mountain
The powder here was smooth and silky.  After two laps, we realized we screwed up by not starting earlier in the day!

Something strange happened here!

And here is a short video of Dylan on Record Mountain:

That evening we had another great meal together that included our third helping of poutine for the trip!  Just can't get enough of that stuff.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Jug Mountain Powder!

Tamara and I didn't really have any plans for the weekend, but after seeing that Brundage Mountain had 11" of fresh snow on Friday, I quickly texted my buddy, John, up in McCall, to see if he was up for a tour on Saturday.

We met up with John and Cody a little after 9AM and started up the Jug Mountain trail in the shade.  As we moved up, we stopped to allow John and Cody trim back brush on the narrow sections of the trail.    Eventually, we moved out of the shade into the bright sunshine.  Everyone was smiling!
Tamara leading Cody and John up the trail
Thankfully, someone was ahead of us this morning breaking trail through the powder.

As we moved up the mountain, we were salivating at the prospect of skiing this great powder.

Jug Mountain

John Platt's video of me getting a bit of powder on the first lap: Jug Skiing

On our second lap, I neglected to transition my right ski boot from walk mode to ski mode and augured in good!
J. Platt photo

But, it was hard to not smile in these conditions!

After a couple of laps, it was time to head back down. A great day in the McCall backcountry!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Picket Mountain - 8172 feet

John and I got out last Saturday for a little 16 mile hike up the South Fork of the Payette River.  We started at the Grandjean trail head a little after 8AM ,with a goal of hiking up to Picket Mountain.  It was a beautiful morning, a bit cold but no wind, and we moved quickly up the well worn trail to stay warm.  We were on the summit by 12:30 enjoying the eye popping scenery!  Though the peak was a straightforward walk up, the views more than made up for the lack of technical difficulty.

Excellent butt shot of John while he precariously crosses Baron Creek
We shivered in the cold shade, while gazing longingly at the sunshine.
Ahhh, feeling warmer now!
Only to have to cross the South Fork of the Payette River.  Our feet felt like large blocks of stone by the time we got to the opposite bank
As we started gaining some altitude, Grandjean Peak came into view
We were in snow at around 6800 feet on the north facing slopes
Grandjean Peak with Baron Peak poking up on the right
The trail split at the saddle
All snow from here to the summit.  Up to 12" deep too!
One of the Rakers
Headwaters of the South Fork of the Payette River from the summit
Heading back down in the sunshine
One last look up the SF Payette drainage


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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen