I realized I lost part of my toe strap along the way.
Another day saved by Voile straps!
The descent was great for the first half in the powdery section. Then it transitioned in to a some what character building edgable crust for a few turns before finally turning into smooth corn. Not needing to share the slope with other sheep, I made monster turns. A fun long run!
At the bottom I spent about an hour looking at the trees. Great Basin is know for its bristle cone pines. On my backpacking trip in another drainage, I wasn't able to find any and was really stoke to be in a grove of them. They are the oldest living things on earth. There is supposedly one under wheeler peak that is dated at over 5000 years old!
Many people, myself included mistake weathered ponderosa and limber pines for bristle cones. Having finally seem some, they are unmistakable. Truly unique trees when you get down to the details.
It was amazing being among such old living things. Wondering about how much the world has changed in their life time and on the other hand, seeing sapplings and wondering about what will happen in their life time. Really makes the things we fret about today seem really insignificant.
And while Im still hugging trees on my tie dyed soap box....More slide damage.
Ive been thinking a lot about monster slides (not triggered by overzealous heli ski operations) lately and seeing mature trees in piles really helps grasp the frequency of these catastrophic events (100yr, 500ys, etc.) Meaning that a tree is able to grow for over 100 years before a slide big enough to take it out occurs. Cool stuff.
Anyway, the exit sucked. I got a few more nice corn turns before the snow was mess of unsupportable mush. Lots of cursing going on. Riding, skinning, booting. None of it worked. Borderline sufferfest. But I made it. 7 hours car to car.
Stopped to take a picture of the horse with no name, with Jeff Davis peak in the background, and drove back to Salt Lake.
I had my camping gear in case I wanted to do another day but decided that its very do able as a day trip but the approach and exit is too much work for multiple days. I hope to go back when the road opens up and get more bang for my buck.