location: strawberry mountain wilderness
season: late winter
backstory: at 9,000 feet elevation, strawberry mountain is the center point for the local mountain ranges. it is a favorite subject for photographers, mainly from the north side. this scene is from the south side.
venturing off the two main highways here (26 & 395) takes us onto county and forest service roads into logan valley. a smaller forest service road (1640) heads north up to the wilderness border: road's end.
this is one of my favorite cross country ski routes. it is 12 miles from forest service 16 rd to road's end with a 3000' elevation climb. lots of switchbacks. it's a lot of work skiing up; quite fast on the return trip.
while skiing, i sometimes think about hitching a ride with passing snowmobiles to the top. the opportunity never arose until this day.
the late winter snow wasn't great and after 4 miles i decided to turn back to my rig. that's when 2 snowmobiles pulled up. we chatted a few moments. i asked if they were going to the top & could i catch a ride. 30 minutes later, after a lot of bouncing and losing my skis once, they dropped me at road's end & took off.
the 18" of overnite snow at 8,000 feet was awesome. skied around a while to warm up - snowmobiles are a cold ride. found this lovely view. waited a few moments for clouds and sun. click. click. skied back down. got back to my rig just as it got dark.
some treks are like that.