Uphill route on Southside

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Joined: January 1st, 2011, 9:48 pm

Uphill route on Southside

Postby JeffD » December 9th, 2016, 8:10 pm

An uphill path through the trees on the Southside of the ski area boundary has been tagged with orange marking tape on the trees. For those who would like to travel uphill when the resort is open, the route starts at the lower parking lot and goes to the gate by the ski patrol hut at the top. The challenge in setting the route is to avoid the thickets of downed trees and rocky outcroppings. The routes I've set are based on the goals of (1) not adding too much extra distance to the journey, (2) avoiding having to remove skis in order to climb over trees or rocks and (3) to find an aesthetically pleasing route in the trees and away from the commotion at the ski area. There are links to an aerial photo and an area map that show the approximate location of the track. A general description is below:

Ski area map: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_qMmM ... sp=sharing
Aerial photo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_qMmM ... sp=sharing

1. Start at the lower lot. The general aim of the first stage of the climb is to head towards the open meadows around the old jeep trail. There are two options.

a. The first is to head up through the upper parking area where the employees park and through the area where the Snowbowl keeps it extra equipment and through the trees along Southern Belle. Keep in mind that the areas around and above those parking lots are not out-of-bounds.

b. The second and, in my opinion, better route is to head down the Kachina trail for about 1/3 of a mile. After crossing over the rocky sections of the trail, it will head through a meadow. Look up the hill, and you will see a marking rope for the area boundary and the power lines. Head up to the rope and then skin up the old jeep trail. When you get up to the section of the old jeep trail that is open to skiers, head through the trees above the upper part of that trail. In a short distance, you will approach the holding pond for the snowmaking. Skirt around the pond in the open areas that have been cut or there is something like a trail through the woods that is marked with stakes put in place when the pond was being built.

2.Head through the opening in the trees just above the holding pond. The trees are thick in places, but there are some openings. One is marked with the orange flagging. Follow the flagging and it will head around the rocks to the south of waterfall and then up to the top. Getting around the rocks near the waterfall area is the trick. The easiest route is to start contouring right before the rocks make things steep and trees are tangled. You will find the marked return trail from the seven meadows area. While this will take you farther south than is really needed, it is skied more often and so the skinning is often easier. I marked a path that cuts through the cliffs and rocky outcroppings and heads more directly to the top, but many trees fell over the path when things iced over in early December. As such, I recommend heading towards seven meadows--especially if you don't already have a fairly good sense of the area.

Having more people use the track is an advantage to us all--in that the burden of breaking trail after new snow has fallen is distributed more widely. When new snow has fallen, it will be helpful if those skiing down on the Southside might after each snowfall, ski in a manner that would help set a track with a reasonable pitch to it. That way, those heading up the hill don't need to break trail when the snow is deep.

As you should know, a backcountry permit for such travel up or down the hill is required by the Forest Service. Snowbowl is also requiring a permit this year for inbounds uphill travel before and after hours (the pass is free and available at the guest services desk).
Last edited by JeffD on February 18th, 2018, 7:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill route on Southside

Postby raisingarizona » December 15th, 2016, 3:12 pm

Nice work! Thanks for posting here about it. I don't skin up for inbounds laps much but if I did I would much prefer to be on a skin track like this regardless if Snowbowl is open or closed for uphill traffic.

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