groundhog day on lone peak

February 3, 2013

I loves me some Lone Peak, and weather and conditions aligned perfectly on Groundhog day for another outing. I think I’m going to make this a Groundhog day tradition. (I’m not sure I have a choice. Do I?)

We started with seven from Alpine, and first to drop was Kyle, who later found out he was sporting a nasty fever. Second to drop was Rob, who hiked to the second hammongog and had to bail for family stuff, meaning he hiked halfway, and before the sun did its work on the snow, he had to ski the old road back to the car on what he called “the worst snow he has ever experienced.”

The rest of us kept at it, and the day turned glorious. Not a cloud in the sky, no wind at all, and not another soul in sight. For a while I thought we were going to be skiing breakable crust for 6,000 feet, but the higher we climbed, the better we felt about the conditions–the descent was going to be good. Not real corn, but soft, fast, creamy goodness.

But enough talk. Pictures tell the story.

first hamongog

Tyler at the first Hamongog.

burke approaching second hamongog

Burke making his way to the lunch spot above the second hamongog.

bottom of heaven's halfpipe

Tyler enjoying lunch at the halfway spot.

burke in all his glory

Yup, he hiked in that. All day.


Back on the trail

tyler up track

Plenty of snow, just need it to soften (it did).

holden at the notch

That’s Holden up there. Leading. By a lot.

holden in the rime

Did you see that sky today? Talk about blue.

summit ridge

Tyler and Jon on the summit ridge

what inversion?

Holden looking down on the valley

tyler above it all

Tyler above it all

jon rock star

Jon’s rock star pose

holden looks into bells

Holden thinks about that Lone Peak East Chute

holden looks into bells

Holden looks into Bells Canyon



dug was here

And, yes, I was in fact, there.

burke summit

Burke tags the view out his back window

starting down

And, then we enjoyed the awesomeness

I should mention here, that Holden, all 14 years of him, led most of the day, including all of the second half. I hear we have Whitney’s spin class to thank. So thanks Whitney’s spin class.

The descent was fast. Or, rather, the descent to the second hamongog was fast. Then the descent to the first hamongog was half fun, half tricky, half super tricky. And then the descent to the water tank was icky. But we all agreed, a thin veneer of snow on dirt and rock was waaaaay better than booting down that last mile with skis on packs.

Here’s a little summit video. Just as a bonus. (Just summiting really, with a start on the descent, but camera battery issues prevented good video.)

See you next Groundhog Day. Duh.

6 Responses to “groundhog day on lone peak”

  1. kanyonkris Says:

    Coincidentally I was at Lambert Park helping with the (final) Frozen Hog (behind Holden’s pack in the valley view photo above) and looked up twice at Lone Peak and God’s Halfpipe and thought, “I wonder if the guys are up there skiing that right now”. Turns out you were. I guess Groundhog Day is good for prognostication.

    The fish-eye lens and soundtrack make the video more,uh, (dramatic, sir?), yes dramatic. Might want to take the sound volume down a few notches, like 10.

  2. Utrider Says:

    To make Holden’s achievement even more impressive it looks like he was skiing with bindings that weigh significantly more than Dynafits. Heavy metal doesn’t need to be slow!

  3. […] As for the summit and everywhere in between, it worked out well. The frozen ascent made for quick uphill travel. Ski crampons are recommended since it’s a February south facing corn cycle up there; we unfortunately forgot ours.. After taking a slightly circuitous, non-direct route, we eventually joined a skinner up Heaven’s Halfpipe put in by a 14 year old the day prior. […]

  4. VA Biker Says:

    I don’t ski, but I always love these posts. Makes me wish I had access to such terrain in the mid-Atlantic. Thanks for sharing.

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