Ryan, Drew and Scott. Photo: Black and Red Photography
Backcountry skiing in Central Oregon has slowly become an integral part of my lifestyle. It is far different than resort riding. You are in the wild, powering yourself up the mountain and there is a huge sense of freedom. Freedom from daily stresses, work thoughts and pretty much everything other than the moment.
After months of talking about it my friend Drew Bryant and I finally had a window of opportunity to get deep into the Three Sisters Wilderness and enjoy a day of skiing on Ball Butte and Broken Top.
Our plan was set in motion the instant the head ski coach of MBSEF Freeride said the two of us could have the day off to enjoy an adventure. That Saturday Drew came up to me at lunch! "Scott we are snowmobiling into the base of Ball Butte tomorrow!"
Sunday morning we rose early to get ahead of the weekend sled traffic. We met our friends Ryan Lazzeri and Paul Clark from Black and Red Photography at our home in Bend, OR, fired up the truck and rallied to Dutchman Flats. - https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.00007,-121.66370&ll=44.00007,-121.66370&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Drew fires up his sled. Photo: Black and Red Photography
After warming up the sleds, checking our beacons and tightening our loose knots we were mashing down the trail towards the forest service boundary line. We parked the snowmobiles at the base of Ball Butte. From here we would hike to the top of Ball Butte and press further to the east facing saddle on Broken Top.
Ball Butte was no small accomplishment. Many people chose to stop hiking at this point -
http://goo.gl/auPZO, but we chose to continue our adventure to the true summit allowing us to ski The North Face of Ball Butte.
We towered the true summit around 1145AM. Obviously plenty of daylight to continue our adventure deeper into the Sisters Wilderness. After much contimplation we decided that North was a good direction to take. Are turns down Ball Butte's North Face were steep and variable. We were stoked!
In the hours that followed we hiked from roughly 7000 feet to 8600 feet on Broken Top. It was at this point where we had far too many choices to make a split moment decision. After more than 15 minutes of conversation we decided the conditions were far too variable to press on to the summit of Broken Top. We settled for a few hours at 8600 feet, built a small jump off a natural feature and hiked a few lines. As a result of this session Drew Bryant From Don Bryant Painting got the shot of the day. And, believe it or not...... This shot was from his first hit on the jump. Yeah boy!
The jump was sent for an hour or so then we were off. Back to the sleds we traveled. Another Awesome Adventure in the books and great learning experiences for all.
Post By: Scott Rowley
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