March 21-24, 2008: Tomasaki Hut: Skied Tomasaki, Manns, Burro Ridge

lasal_40.gif

Ever since hearing of the fine time some friends of mine had at this hut a few years ago I have wanted to spend a few nights there. Jonathan Kriegel and I spent the nights of March 21, 22, 23, 2008, at the hut and had some fine skiing in blue-sky weather. It was cold and windy at times, and slopes were sometimes icy, but at other times it was warm, with perfect corn. In any case, it was a thrill to be able to ski within sight of the slickrock country of Moab. We climbed and skied Manns Peak and Tomasaki Peak on the Saturday. On Sunday we tried Haystack but it was too icy and we failed (no crampons). We did climb nearby Burro Ridge which offered excellent skiing. The non-skiing highlight was the amazing aspen forest in this area. I have not seen such fine old aspens; it was a pleasure to ski alongside them.

The hut is owned by Tag-A-Long Expeditions in Moab <www.tagalong.com>, and they take your pack and water into the hut for you by snowcat, and take your garbage out after you leave. The trip in takes about two hours; the trip out just over an hour.

Tomasaki Hut

lasal_41.gif

The hut: It is adequate, but barely.

Two High Peaks

lasal_42.gif

lasal_43.gif

Mounts Mellenthin and Tukuhnikivatz are the second- and third-highest peaks in the range and offer steep skiing on their north faces, shown in these two photos.

Manns Peak

lasal_44.gif

On Saturday we climbed and skied Manns Peak in the morning and after lunch at the hut climbed and skied Tomasaki. Neither was in very good condition, though probably, at the time we were skiing Tomasaki, Manns was great.

Burro Ridge

lasal_45.gif

We failed on our attempt to climb Haystack because the snow was too firm, though we did manage a great ski on the lower half of the SE couloir. But then we climbed Burro Ridge and found perfect corn snow.

Spikey Created with Wolfram Mathematica 9.0