January 5, 2013 – Mission Ridge Backcountry
In lieu of skiing in-bounds on Saturday, we decided to spend the day further exploring slopes we like to call the “Back Bowls.” Eric modified our climbing skins so they would fit our new(ish) skis. Yay!
The last time we skied the “Back Bowls” was January 1-2 of 2011. At that time, we were treated to absolutely perfect fluff on a bluebird day.
Saturday…not so much. You could describe the avalanche conditions as “welded.” HA! It was fun, but in a different sort of way. It was immensely enjoyable just being out there exploring. (Truth be told, we did find a few soft spots.)
We skied into some trees that were burned during the huge Ellensburg/Wenatchee forest fires of Sept/Oct 2012. The fire line stopped just short of the Mission Ridge ski area. Whew!
There is something starkly imposing about burnt trees that remain standing after a fire goes out. It’s fascinating how something beautiful and impressive can emerge from such destruction. The black char against white snow in winter is particularly striking…