COMP - No Blue Sky, No Cry
The ridge we were headed for was shrouded in cloud for the third time in as many days. We skinned across the tracked-up face of North Bowl towards it, optimistic that the weatherman’s prediction would prove true today and that the sun would finally show its face. His record wasn’t promising. But the week-long drought had blessed us with good stability and we were keen to make tracks in some of the quieter, further bowls. We inched on through the clag, stopping once in a while until some landmark appeared out of the whiteness to give us our bearing, then trudging ahead, straining our eyes to make out what little detail there was on the snow-covered alpine ridge in a white-out. I mused at the aptness of the “milk jug” metaphor as I caught a glimpse of the cornice to our right and veered away from it.
Two hours of skinning brought us to our destination, just in time for the cloud we’d been stuck in to rise slightly, not giving up its tight hold on the sun, but allowing us enough visibility to contemplate and commit to our line. We de-skinned in a rush of anticipation, racing to beat the next wave of whiteness into the bowl. Yeehaws and Woohoos confirmed that the snow was still soft and untracked as I lowered my goggles and pointed my skis downslope for a fast run in my favorite backcountry playground. It wasn’t blue bird, but you’d never have known it by the size of my smile.