I never thought the Archangel valley gate would still be open, but it was, and Doug and I had big grins driving through the snow to the Reed Lakes Parking lot. We put our skis on at the car and although there was probably only about 5 inches, it was enough to avoid walking!
The fog rolled in from the valley, it was awesome to climb above it back into the blue bird day. I tried to stick to the summer trail and managed to avoid most of the large boulders, pretty pleasant tour overall.
We stashed our overnight stuff in the moraine and headed up left of the nunatak to get a run in before dark. There was probably 8-12 inches of snow and it was surprisingly creepy with loud whumphing on the low angle glacier. I guess it was delusional to think it would get better higher up.
I know I've said this before, but I love the Snowbird Hut, with its oil heater, stainless steel counters, and beautiful windows...Ahh so much better than camping!
Early Morning View from the Hut
Conditions weren't much better the next morning with the same whumping on the low angle glacier. It didn't seem like it could slide so we watched our angle and toured above the nuntak, stopping a few hundred feet shy from the top where it got steeper.
The powder was unbelievable light and fluffy, such a beautiful feeling, and unbelievably tempting to keep doing. Doug and I had a good conversation about the snowpack, the 'red light' factors and were both able to live with our decision to ski conservatively.
It was amazing early season powder without all the rocks.
Amazing skiing for October!