Ski Mountaineering

Basin Mountain

May 15-16, 1993

Reiner Stenzel

On Saturday a group of seven Ski Mountaineers (Paulette Woodward, Richard Contreras, Steve Turner, Mike Rector, Scott Ogden, Owen Maloy, Reiner Stenzel) and one K 9 (Tatanka) took off for a fun weekend of skiing, climbing and ice fishing. Beyond the locked gate we hiked up the Horton Lake road until we found continuous snow near the old mining buildings just below the lower Horton Lake (9,960'). Basecamp was established near the lake among trees. In the afternoon most of the group enjoyed skiing on the surrounding slopes while I tried out a new SMS activity: ice-fishing. Self-belayed on an 11mm "fishing line" I ventured with skis onto the treacherous lake, cut a hole into the ice with a Chouinard "fishing tool", and lowered the bait into a black hole. With some luck and patience six rainbows were caught and everyone could enjoy the taste of fresh trout for dinner.

Sunday morning we ascended on skis the northwest slopes of Basin Mtn. The last 300 feet along the rocky ridge had to be climbed. The view from the summit to nearby Mt Humphreys, Mt. Tom, Four Gables, etc. was excellent. At 13,181 ft it was Tatanka's highest summit. Except for the upper part of the mountain we had excellent corn snow and telemarked all the way down to Horton Lke. On the way out some of us walked down the road while others skied down on a "short-cut" which ended up in bush-whacking through a flooded valley. At the cars we met the "chute-corps" (Craig Dostie, John Wedberg, NancyGordon) who had just come down a couloir on the NE side on Basin Mtn. It was a fun outing. I thank Owen for suggesting this trip and assisting with it.

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