Went up Dan Moller a few days back with a couple buddies, Nelson Merrell and Sandy Miller, on an unforecasted bluebird day. Sandy offered the use of his snowmobile, and given that I had only ridden one once before I jumped at the chance. Once my gear was collected I ducked out of the house to grab 5 gallons of premium for the machine and we were off from the snowmobile access from the upper Blueberry Hill lot. The last time I made it up to Dan Moller, the snowmobile club had kindly groomed the path and knocked down the whoop-dees. This was about the exact opposite, it clearly hadn’t been done in a a while (got a report that it has since been groomed); which was further complicated by the fact that I was being towed up on my splitboard, while Sandy and Nelson rode double on the machine. After a few mishaps, catching an edge or two on the well worn machine track, we made it up to the upper bowl above the cabin.
Upon reaching the upper bowl, we joined a group of snowmobilers and a few skiers staring at the same slopes we were hungrily eying. We opened up our first lap by doing a tree run. Sandy drove Nelson and myself up the ridge individually and we took turns dropping in. The snow in the trees was decent up high and degraded as we descended to the trail. With the new beta on the snow from our first run, we decided to stick to higher slopes. This turned out to be the best decision of the day, besides bringing up the machine. Sandy quickly ran me up the hill and I positioned myself on the slope to shoot both him and Nelson on their pre-planned routes. The snow was certainly top-5 of the year, a slightly dense blower with just a pinch-of-moisture that was the perfect recipe for some Big Kahuna style surf turns.
After three laps on the main face of the upper bowl, we decided to notch another day in our backcountry belts for the year and head home. Although we didn’t specifically earn our turns, my arms certainly felt like they did the next day, I for one wouldn’t turn down another trip on the sno-mo.