Stealth Adventure
MIKE HALL, Adventure Sports, Travel, Backcountry, Avalanche, Snowmobile, Snowmobiling, Snowboard, Snowboarding, Sledboarding, Winter Fat Tire Mountain Biking, Mountain Biking, Ski Patrol, Motorcycle, BMW Adventure Motorcycling, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Jackman, Maine

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Week in the Spring

Urban biking with Weez along the lakes on Monday.
City skyline.
A trail off the paved route. Did a nice loop of about 15 miles.
How about a Thursday noon baseball game? Outdoors at the brand new Target Field.
Got to the ball game early and the first thing, gotta have a hot dog.
Soakin' up the afternoon sun in the left field bleachers, 3 rows up from the fence. The boys brought their baseball gloves along. The Indians hit 1 home run just a bit to the side of us.
Kirby...yeah!! Tyler and Tanner strike a pose.
Starting the Spring landscaping season with the new trailer. Bought it Friday, I added the wood sides. Painted em black on Friday night and bolted them in Saturday night. Sunday the trailer starts to earn its keep with 2000 pounds of mulch, 76 bags.
Funny thing happened on the way to the job sight, bought a 250 KLX Kawasaki enduro. This is why a guy needs a 3/4 ton pick-up and haul stuff. Ya never know.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Digging a Snow Pit in Montana / Avalanche Pit > Recapping the Last Day in Montana

5 mile ride in to the mountain slopes, for some snowshoing and snowboarding.
Base of the ridge that I started snowshoing up.
As I got up onto the ridge and it started to get a bit steeper, I dug a pit to check the snowpack. The avalanche danger was considerable so I was staying off open steep faces with any kind of rollovers.
I dug a pit and noticed the 2 pronounced crusts. The first one about 15 inches below the surface and the second layer 12 inches below that. At the bottom of the snowpack was faceted snow from earlier this winter.
I checked for hardness with my finger, the top 2 layers were soft and below the second layer it was considerably harder and compacted. At the bottom was sugar snow, coarse grain, with no structure.
The crust.
I isolated a block and did a compression test, it took 27 hits on my shovel to propagate a failure. It was not a clean shear, but it did fail on the crust. I was able to pull a block off with my shovel. at the lower crust. I decided that the snowpack was safe on this particular slope. When I snowboarded down, I stayed up high on the ridge and did not drop into the small bowl off the ridge. Better to be safe than sorry. It's all good experience.
One last look back on the mountain range. The trail in is a forest road and was full of moguls, but gotta have the sled for the 12 mile round trip.
The sleds travel in my enclosed trailer, 14 foot double axle FLOE trailer. Keeps them out of the road grime. Check out the video below. This was in the middle of the night on the way home. Road grime...

Hit the play button, kinda dark...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sledboarding in the Bridger Range / Day 5 > Road Trip

This day started out good as I was headed up north of Bridger Bowl with the snowmobile. The plan was to ride in the 5 or 6 miles to the mountains and check out the snow conditions and get in a snowboard run if avalanche conditions allow.

I pulled into the trailhead that I had used 2 years ago. It had 20 inches of new snow from the past 2 days. Well as I pulled into the lot I swung the truck to the right and hit a ridge of hard pack snow from a previous plowing that was covered with new snow. The front wheels popped over and started spinning so I hit the brakes. The solution was to drop the trailer and get the truck repositioned, hook the trailer back up and get it turned around and out of there. Got back on the county road and crossed over to another trailhead.

One always has to be ready to adjust to situations in the mountains, this made me very aware of the need to check my surroundings right from the get go. As I prepared the sled and my gear, a couple drove into the trailhead. It turned out that they were going up to check the snotel site at Brackets Creek. It was good to talk to these local people who knew the area. We discussed the avalanche conditions. They identified some of the areas I had explored on previous trips to that area, it is good to take advantage of any information I can garner from local people at the trailhead. Backcountry snowmobilers are very approachable and offer good info on snow conditions and area information.
The Polaris Dragon is loaded and ready to access the Bridger Mountains. I brought my Burton Fish for this trip, the relevant thing with the Fish is that I purchased it from World Boards, located in Bozeman, Montana.

We visited World Boards on Monday evening after a day at Bridger Bowl, they are right on Main Street in Bozeman. Great people to talk snowboarding with.

Some great up close views of the Bridger Range.
I was snowshoeing up a ridge with my snowboard and looked back down. With the avalanche rating at considerable, I checked out a couple of areas and decided on a ridge that rose out of this creek area. I decided that snowshoing up the ridge and snowboarding back down would be the best route. This was a ridge line that I had seen a few years back.
Looking across from the ridge, I could see the mountainside that I had snowboarded on 2 years ago.
This is a snowpit that I dug into the hillside that I was climbing to check for avalanche conditions. Note the 2 pronounced layers, also I probed the snowpack to check for hardness.
Snow saw.
This is the ridge I climbed up.

Snowshoes back on the pack and ready to drop in.
Played it safe and snowboarded along the route I climbed up along the ridge.
A view from the trail on the way back to the truck. It would be great to spend more time in the area. Every trip I learn a bit more about the Bridger Range.
Gota' have gear...the trailer packed.

The road down from Bridger, it was snowing as we left. I read that they received over a foot of new snow the day after we left. The Spring storms in Bozeman are the best.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Hiking the Ridge at Bridger Bowl / Day 4 > Road Trip

View down the mountain from the top of the ridge.

The hike up... straight up! It's about 600 vertical feet to the top of the ridge from the lift. You need to have an avalanche transceiver and shovel.
Happy to be on top!
Yours truly on the ridge.

View to the south.
View to the north, on the face we descended.
Me off the top.

Weez dropping into a steep section.

Have a good day...later.