Chip just sent this in:
Hector Gorge. Chic Scott describes this as an easy tour through forest. Well, it may have been such when the book was written but those conditions are no longer current. There is a great deal of deadfall on the trail and so had skins on the entire trip (9 km in 5 hours) because we were literally climbing over and under trees. My unofficial count is that we hopped and kick-turned and crawled over and under 50+ trees out and back. What’s worse is that you don’t get any views of the Gorge. So…if you want to practice your climbing skills in 2 meter shoes, give ‘er a go. Otherwise, find another trail.
Yesterday, we did Healy Pass (9.5 km and 700 meters gain). We had beautiful snow once we cleared the trees and the trail in the trees was firm but good. New snow falling all day. I’d say that this is THE place to go right now.
Thanks for the backcountry update! Bob’s set up an amazing website and I’m very grateful! It’s tough planning between the chinooks and with avalanche conditions. I prefer not to ski in tracks (although what can be wrong about any kind of cross country skiing!) and I am slowly working my way into the backcountry (with appropriate avalanche courses). Has anyone skied into Paradise Valley recently?