This trip started on the left foot, at least for Matt. We parked by the dog sled tour operator’s hut, and one of the dogs peed on Matt’s backpack. It even wet his down jacket and gortex, yuck! After some vigorous rubbing with snow, it was deemed clean enough, and we set out. The description we had was confusing, but Matt had made a copy of the Google Earth Satellite image superimposed on top of the map, which was very helpful. The first 4km were along a jumble of logging roads, which we navigated while marveling at the blue sky and warm weather.
We entered the forest and followed Matt’s excellent track through the open and mellow forest, along a snowy creek and eventually leaving the trees with a view of Metal Dome’s summit. It’s actually more like a bump along a ridge, and I’m not sure where the name comes from since we couldn’t see any metal or domes nearby. Above us the terrain was nicely open and soon enough we were on the summit ridge and the flat summit. Some dark gray clouds had been rolling in, but they seemed to stop in their tracks, and we enjoyed the sun and the panoramic but foreshortened views.
The top part of the mountain was lots of fun to ski, great corn snow. Lower down the snow got softer and heavier, but this made the tree skiing much easier. Just before we got back into the trees Philip decided he just had to try out this sport of naked skiing. We had some fun watching him ski down a small slope, at the end of which he almost fell over and to save himself, he ended up breaking his pole… It took him forever to get dressed again, and I think the experience was stamped with the “been there, done that, don’t need to do it again” stamp.
In the meantime Matt and Johannes had some time to relax, and we joked about having an “old geezer trip” where we would take naps midday and talk about our aching joints. After all, three of us were over 30, which spells “one leg in the grave” to most club members… We skied down amidst some talk of watching out for bears – we had been warned about a black bear in the area by the dogsled guy. The last section to the car was annoyingly flat, but we made it back to the car in the late afternoon and still had time to lounge in the sun at the Watershed Grill (we actually froze our asses sitting outside and ended up moving inside…