Sunday, February 27, 2011

Skiing in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada

Jonathon had promised me that this was going to be the best skiing I had experienced all winter. I was excited to finally make some turns in fluffy, white powder. We started the weekend by cat skiing with the guests on some low angle terrain.
I have to admit that I wasn't that impressed by the skiing. I wouldn't consider myself too much of ski snob but we didn't get the face shots that Jonathon had been promising. Granted it was better than anything that I had skied in Washington all winter.

Overnight it snowed over a foot and finally Jonathon delivered his promise. We got a ride up on the helicopter to the top of this run called, "the beaver." The lightest and deepest snow awaited us for a glorious 1200 foot run. It was amazing. We skinned back up and then skied another awesome 5000 foot run back to the car.
The next day sunny skis were delivered and we skinned up through Lamoille Canyon. High avalanche danger dictated that we keep it conservative but we still had an amazing 1500 foot run of creamy powder!

The terrain in the Ruby's makes for a truly unique skiing experience. The range is characterized by a high, alpine desert where the lowlands are filled with sage and willows. Much of the skiing is above tree line and rocky sandstone cliffs emerge from the hillside, providing a truly scenic backdrop. This place is truly undiscovered and there aren't too many people skiing here except for the Ruby Mountain Heli Operation guides and guests. There is a ruggedness and remoteness to the range that gives it a big mountain feel. The desert air keeps the atmosphere pretty dry and low density snow tends to fall heavily throughout the winter. I definitely want to do some more exploring and I'm looking foward to a longer trip next winter!

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