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Sunshine Meadows and Standish Ridge

Difficulty: 
Easy Ski Touring
Elevation [m]: 
2338
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
22.0
Ascent Time: 
6:10
Bushwhackyness: 
None
Tripdate: 
Friday, May 3, 2013

I had been planning to start skiiing again for some time (after having been off any kind of skis for about 7 years) and after picking up some used AT skis (and new boots) about a month ago had been waiting for a chance to try them out (but big snowshoeing objectives kept getting in the way!). Finally with the exceedingly tropical temperatures today making most backcountry terrain too avi-prone it seemed a good time to take to the slopes. Steven had previously been around the Sunshine backcountry and it seemed like a good place to start.

At about 3:30am we started up the Sunshine ski-out which was starting to get in pretty rough shape due to the warm temperatures. I had been warned by many people that my first time in new AT boots might not be that enjoyable and by that top of the ski-out that became somewhat evident in one foot (though I think that may have been due to having my boot in ski mode rather than walk mode... rookie mistake). We got to the top of the gondola just as a few staff members were starting to get up and about and quickly went up beneath the Strawberry chair and onwards into Sunshine Meadows. From the top of the chair I got to go for my first bit of downhill in 7 years which was pretty fun (and thankfully short, gota re-build in small steps) though my feet were starting to get a little unbearable After touring further onwards to Quartz Hill I eventually had to stop as my right foot was feeling exceedingly fierce, the dreaded curse of new boots is true! I waited around at the base of the hill for Steven to go up and down and realized that I'll probably loose a toenail from the boots which explained the unpleasantness. In any case waiting around was not too bad, warm temperatures, and good views around. After Steven got back my feet were feeling better and we headed up Standish Ridge and then took a nice free ride down the ski hill and back to the car.

This would be a really nice start of the season trip to get into touring shape, and I think I might do just that next year!

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