I’ve been experimenting with ways to not be cold and damp on the drives home.  Today’s method, stripping down to capilene outside and cranking the heat all the way home, worked better than layering a belay coat over damp layers.  But as I drove along the shore of Lake McDonald, drying quickly, something was wrong.  I smelled funny.  Not normal exercise stinky, and not from any particular body part or item of clothing.  Then I realized: ammonia.  Byproduct of anaerobic muscle burning.  Apparently I worked too hard and didn’t bring enough food.  Oops.

But the sun was out!  There was fresh powder!  I had new skis!! No matter that I know better.

Sublime though the day turned out to be, I felt like death at 6am.  Too much beer, wine, and steak at the company holiday party last night.  I drank a lot of water and OJ on the drive out to the park (Glacier), hoping it’d all sort itself out.

It did.  Trail breaking got harder as the new snow increased with the altitude, but the views and ski terrain was getting better at the same time, so I didn’t notice or care until about 1/2 mile from Sperry Chalet, when I bonked hard.  But I was almost at my top for the day, so much ado about nothing.

The only other time I’ve been up in the Sperry Cirque rain, fog, threatening darkness, and fatigue kept me from seeing further than 100 feet away from me.  Which made for a pleasant surprise when I saw and understood just what an astounding position the buildings hold.  Enhanced, if such a thing is possible, by winter.  The trees were fully ghosted, the boulders wearing snow hats 10 feet tall, ice mushrooms overhung distant walls, and tantalizing ski lines were riven through the cliffs.  I’ve got some video that fairly does it injustice (that will make it’s way into volume 2 of the year in review), but the still photos are just crap by comparison.  I imagine I’ll be up there again this winter.

The Marquettes got a good workout today, and what I’ve gleaned of their personality has me pleased.  Unsurprisingly, they float very well.  That they turn very fast is perhaps not noteworthy, given their length, but I was taken aback with the precision with which they swing into arks.  They carve powder, smear, slide, and pull up on dime with little imput.  I’m confident they’ll fulfill the role of bushwacking and tree ski nicely.

3 responses to “Sperry”

  1. Enjoying the blog, dave! I worked up in Glacier a few summers and its cool to see you exploring the park in the ‘off’ season. Looks like I’ll probably be up there again this summer after the AT, so would love to do some sort of trip. There’s a few big traverses I’ve had on my list for a long time that I’m looking forward to!

  2. Let me know when you’ll be up here!

  3. Nice photos… they SO make me want to be there right now!

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