Blackwood Ridge is Now Open!

I live at the bottom of Blackwood Ridge, which climbs 2.5 miles and 2000' up from the lakeshore to a bald summit.  Its covered with clear-cut slopes, natural openings, tight trees and older growth from its early days as a logger's workplace.  I promised myself - and Patsy - that I wouldn't set the skin track up it until there was enough snow on the ground to cover all the deadfall and rocks that could put a premature end to my season.

That meant on Monday the rope was dropped, the gate was opened, and it was time to set a little skin track.

Left - the view from about 6800' elev.  Right - Charlie following one of the old drag lines from the logging era.

This was also Charlie's first ski tour day, and the two feet of soft fresh snow quickly convinced him that the best place in the world was behind and not to close to get tapped my ski tails.  Kicking in what I wanted to be a no-heal-lifter track proved to be more difficult than I wanted.  I don't think I traversed north far enough from the cabin and need to try it again, but after the first 600' or so was gained I think we nailed the skin pretty well, connecting old drag line paths and old-growth forest into a smooth uphill.

Left - On the bald summit of Blackwood Ridge.  Right - traversing into Homewood Ski Area.

Still the day was a lot longer than I had wanted, and it took us almost 3:00 hours to reach the summit at 8274'.  The snow was too deep and soft to make for a fun ridge descent, and the instabilities in the snowpack are persisting on the north aspects here, so I opted for the south slopes down to the Homewood Ski Area, where we were able to get some great powder skiing in the south-facing trees and east-facing slopes.  Charlie was tail wagging the whole trip, but today he's not asking to go for a walk!

Statistics:  Blackwood Point (8274'), 4.9 miles, +1960', -1970'.  5:30 hours door-to-door.  Solo ski tour with Charlie.