Gypsum Mine – 10 April 2021
Starting with the drive in to K-country, it was clear there was fresh snow in “them there hills”. It was a welcome confirmation that the mountain snow report was not a complete fabrication. It was snowing pretty hard when we started uphill and we had a mix of snow, sun, cloud and a bit of graupel for the day.
We started out above the gully on the west bump and did a couple runs in that area. The start of that run is in fun intermediate rolling terrain with sparse trees. This eventually gives way to a steeper, more treed descent through the gully. The snow was soft and plentiful and we figured there was anywhere from 10 to 20 cm of fresh depending on aspect and terrain. After a short break and discussion, we decided to head up on the main ridge. We slightly overcooked the distance along the ridge and did our first run here down a steeper than desired route. There was a bit of sun crust at one point but otherwise nice and soft.
After reaching the main uptrack route, we decided to correct the start location off the ridge and ascended keeping further to climber’s right. We made like Goldilocks and found the sweet spot where it was “not too steep” but “not too mellow”. Unbelievable to us, there were no fresh tracks in this area and we were able to choose our lines. Perhaps finding the terrain too easy, Terry decided to try a variety of added challenges by commencing a “one-skin on” descent at the start of the run. I’m sure he could have pulled it off (pun intended)!
After four runs, it was feeling like we should consider calling it a day – but did we? No. The snow was simply too good and at this time of year, you never know which day may be the last. So we ascended once more but not all the way to the top and while there might have been a bit of unintentional line poaching towards the bottom of the run (sorry Gordon), there was still plenty of snow for all.
From here, we scooted out through the graupel and reached the cars by about 4.15 pm. Five runs, 765 m vertical, we only saw two groups of two all day. It was snowing heavy on the way back so hopefully a refresh is on the way.
Thanks to the eager crew for a fantastic day. Gordon (c), Terry, Jenny (s)
PS Apologies for the working stiff late posting of the trip. We are sorry Ed didn’t make it out for “Gypsum Lucky 7” or was it 6?