recalling a day with Weston D...

It was a bright blue sky day, and the timing was ripe for some exploration.  I was looking for a good access route to a favorite backcountry area that I usually access from a nearby resort.  Of course, I speak in generalities in order to save my own skin in the local's only crowd.  It is prevalent and pervasive in these areas.  Funny to me, but to each his own.  I brought along my new Telemark Skier Magazine (TSM) teammate and trusted tour partner, Weston Deustchlander.  

^Weston smiles for the camera while we were taking in the break out view.  One of the many things that I love about these zones.  I brought Weston along under the disclaimer that the real objective of the day was finding a good uphill skin path route to an area that is much more easily attainable from the nearby resort.  An uphill exploration objective is more work then anything else, so the disclaimer was in order.  

^Also, there was another motive to my madness.  With the formation of the TSM athlete crew, I needed to sell him on the value of the zones that have made my career.  For many years now, the Vertical Integration group has been among the only crews to really get work done in these zones.  It is my backyard so I really needed to get the TSM team on board.  We didn't even really need to ski much of it. I just needed Weston to see it and the selling would be done by itself.  

^If you look closely, then you might see Weston's track along the shadow line of the pine trees.  This line is the very tip of the iceberg in relation to the available terrain in these areas.  Again, due to local ostracism I won't show you too much.  Just a little taste.  The uphill exploring was pretty tough, but we made it to a place where I could show Weston a larger piece of the terrain than in this picture above.  From a ridge overlook we could see a couple bowls and a grip of rocky glades.  The untapped nature of what Weston was looking at was enough to make my point.  The terrain is killer, the shots are golden, and there is no one to be seen for miles.  I didn't have to do much talking to make the point.

^In this photo above, Weston is learning a new skill set that the northern Wasatch locals have perfected, bush whacking.  In these parts the approaches and exits are long and scrubby.  Due to a slightly lower elevation, most of our tours end with bush whacks and rally track skiing down skinny summer trails.  It is an arduous task.  However, I chalk it up to a small price paid for the lonely nature of the range.  All in all, we found a good route.  Although long, we did find it to go cleanly and rather easily.  Weston also came away with a bit more scope of the value that lay waiting for us in all that untapped potential.