With all the snow we had on Tuesday I wasn't sure about conditions in Wild Basin, so I switched our planned overnight adventure on the Cleaver to two separate days, returning to the house. Actually, that's only partially true. I wasn't motivated to go camping for the entire weekend. We'll go overnight next weekend. In preparation for that, Derek and I skied up Wild Basin on Saturday to check out conditions and make sure Derek was okay skiing out from there. Both were great.
We got a casual start, leaving house at 7:15 a.m. and not skiing until nearly 8:45 a.m. We just went up for an hour and 45 minutes (about four miles) and turned around. Our pace was slow and easy. We had a great time coming out and Derek was really solid and having fun. He led most of the way and I just followed his pace. We didn't see anyone on the way up and only a few people on the way down.
|At the Ouzel Falls Bridge in Wild Basin|
|Skiing out from Wild Basin in a small snow squall|
We generally followed the summer trail to get up onto the upper bench and then just skinned up gradually. The coverage here was pretty minimal. We could have probably walked from there to the summit, but we kept the skis on. I knew I'd enjoy the ski down, but I also knew it would challenge Derek. He never asked to drop the skis, though. He's eager to learn new skills, but a bit apprehensive in getting in over his head. I was confident he'd get down with enough traversing and kick-turning.
|Skiing up Bierstadt|
|Heading up the final ridge|
|Derek on the final obstacle|
|On the summit with Grays and Torreys in the background - we climbed those last weekend.|