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Skiing Steens Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.26 - 08:44:17
Ranges: North America Ranges / Great Basin Ranges
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 1000m
Participants: Klaus Haring
Difficulty: 1:
A very long, very flat day ski tour
This is part of a bigger journey. See Road Trip to Nevada

After coming up from Nevada I spent the first night at Alvord Hotsprings where you now have to pay. I had been there after my first attempt at climbing Steens Mountain. The next morning I had an early breakfast and short soak before driving around Steens Mountain. The fairly long way, part gravel, with many photo stops took me almost 2.5hours. After turning off pavement the gravel road climbs to a low plateau where Steens Mountain comes into view as a flat featureless ridge. [photo]P1060943.JPG[caption]Steens Mountain in distance[/photo]

[photo]P1060945.JPG[caption]Approaching Steens Mountain, Big Indian Canyon at far left.[/photo]

As you come closer some spectacular gorges come into view. The road finally switchbacks up the ridge between Big Indian and Little Blitzen Canyon. [photo]P1060952.JPG[caption]Upper Little Blitzen Canyon[/photo]

[photo]P1060953.JPG[caption]Big Indian Canyon, the gate at far left, summit far right.[/photo]

There on a small shoulder I came to a locked gate. Beyond the road traversed below the steep side of the narrow ridge with not a speck of snow in sight. The summit looked very far away and I decided to just make a reconnaissance on foot. [photo]P1060956.JPG[caption]The first snow on road, the summit at right.[/photo]

After about 3km the road became snow covered for the first time. I had to walk slowly and lightly as not to sink in or break through. Following the postholes of previous hikers didn't make it any faster. When the road disappeared completely under the snow I turned south into bare sage brush. The kneehigh bushes were quite dense hiding a bit of snow in some places and even where there were more open spaces I could seldom walk...

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