Turtle Mountain 2013-03-09

We hooked up with some friends for a great weekend of riding, including a short ride on Boulder Friday. Good riding in poor visibility.

When Saturday morning dawned, it was immediately apparent that the all elusive Sun was going to make it’s presence this day. Not a cloud to be seen anywhere, the sun was brilliant, the air was crispy, and the group was keen to go! The group consisted of several of our out-of-town friends, Amy and Justin from Castlegar, Cedar and Todd from Portland OR., Shane and Megan Render from Alberta, some of our usual other cohorts including Rozzy, Riley, Sean, Brian, and of course, Laird and myself. We staged at Boulder and rode Turtle Mountain.

The Boulder parking lot has taken on it’s spring appearance, with bare gravel and mud, we managed to get a parking spot with snow for our sleds and dry grass for us to walk on, … excellent luck. We got to chat with some old friends from the Okanagan, Kevin McCrae and Trevor Brohmer, great to see them again. It’s so good to see that Kevin still rides after his accident, he rocks that XM Doo better than many! Wish we could have hooked up with them on the hill as well. The trails are still in great shape, slushy but still fully covered. The slush turns to snow at the Kirkup turn-off, excellent groomed trail all the way to the Turtle access trail, which was moguls all the way to the cutblock as usual. The rain and heavy snow mix of last week had caused the Avy runs to slide along the route into Turtle, resulting in trees strewn along the route and a severely compacted surface that was icy to say the least. There was the usual cluster of stuck sleds along the way through the trees, surprisingly as the snow was compacted, …the route into Turtle doesn’t get any easier than this. The biggest issue was getting snow up onto the coolers for the sleds, which resulted in several overheated engines, …including one casualty, Pinky’s engine blew its oil out and had to be left at the base of the cut block. Riley offered Megan his Pro for most of the day, and doubled around with others as we toured.

The alpine was glistening from the brilliant sun!! We just haven’t had that many sunny days this season so it was much appreciated, even though a bit blinding at times. We enjoyed a quick ride back to Clint’s Logging Bowl where we opted to play for a bit and eat our lunch’s. Sean had brought his Snowboard in with him and made some great runs down the side of the bowl, with some good crash’s at the base, …good fun and laughs from the cheering section!!

We continued back thru the crossover and past Porcupine Creek, up the west drainage and onto the Lakes enjoying the powder and sun as we went. A big crowd of sledders at Pebble Beach, looked like several attempts at the Sister Chutes, but no one went over. We opted to keep going and to drop into “Chain Breaker” Bowl. This little bowl with a tiny lake at the base, faces southwest and was capturing the afternoon sun, …it was hot in there, the sun was intense as it reflected from all angles of the bowl onto our quickly reddening faces. Laird made some great pulls up the canyon face, as well Rozzy made an excellent climb, and Sean named a chute with an excellent pull. Wish we could have gotten it on video, but we missed it.

Rozzy, Laird and myself climbed up onto the peak of the ridge to take in the view. We sat there for 30 minutes, just taking it all in!! What a paradise!!

As it was getting onto five o’clock we opted to start playing our way out as we would have to tow Pinky back to the the trailers. The ride out was uneventful but still enjoyable as the mountains took on first an orange, then pink and finally purple hues as the sun began to sink below the distant mountain ranges. I sat up above the “ditch” and took some pictures for awhile.

We dropped down through the trees and Avy runs, hooked up the tow strap and started our way down with Pinky in tow. The moguls aren’t much fun when under power, but much less so when being towed. Once back on the  groomed trail all was good, …and again we met the groomer on his route up in the dark. True to Rozzy’s statement earlier, he hasn’t made it back to his truck in the daylight yet this year, hahaha.

Another great ride, thanks to all our friends!!!

Special thanks to Amy and Justin at HTR Designs for the Powerhouse Decals … BAM!

Cheers!   Cpt. Ron


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