Archive for the ‘Ski Valley’ Tag

The Slopes Are Waiting   Leave a comment

Slopes are Waiting blogThe Slopes are Waiting — Image by kenne

It’s been a warm and dry fall on Mt. Lemmon, which could be a sign of little moisture and low temperatures the winter for Sky Valley.

— kenne

Mt. Lemmon Ski Run — Fall Colors   Leave a comment

Aspen Trail -- 10-22-12Mt. Lemmon Ski Run, Fall Colors — Image by kenne

“During World War II, a group of skiers made up of Lowell Thomas , a noted journalist and adventurer, a local forest ranger, and many Davis Monthan serviceman which included Thomas’ son, later a Governor of Alaska, and Art Devlin, a future Olympic ski jumper and Television commentator, formed the Saguaro Ski Club. The well-known cartoonist, Paul Webb, created a patch and membership certificates for the club showing a skier wrapped around a saguaro cactus.”  Click here for more information.

My Weekly Mountain Sojourn   Leave a comment

Golden Columbine-3197 blog IIGolden Columbine On Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

We drive the twisting
Catalina Highway
leaving the desert
for alpine forests 
on Mt. Lemmon —  
one hour away. 

Today I guide hikers
on the Aspen Draw
trail among the tall trees
next to the steep slopes
of Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley —
north America’s southernmost.

Wildflowers of the Sky Islands
are in full bloom celebrating
the summer monsoon rains
below the towering conifers —
temperate species of
Apache pine and Chihuahuan pine.

Recent heavy rains
have eroded the trail
exposing trees roots
not always easy to see
in shadows on the trail —
I reminded the hikers.

Moving with more speed
on the downhill return
careful of foot but
not careful enough
as I tripped over a root
now shouldering the pain.

— kenne

 

Friday Hike Rained Out, A Photo Essay   10 comments

Friday morning, July 1st, a little before 8:00am we stood in the McDonald’s parking lot
looking up at the dark clouds over the Santa Catalina mountains.
This is our regular meeting place before driving the 25 miles up to
Mt. Lemmon for the SCVN (Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists) summer guided hikes.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1) blog

Only, this Friday morning there were just the three guides, Maribeth, Maureen and myself.
Others who may have been planning to hike on Mt. Lemmon, probably
took one look out the window deciding it was not a good day for hiking.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-2 blog

This Friday’s scheduled hike was to be a six mile hike starting at the Ski Valley parking lot,
hiking a loop of Aspen Drew, Lemmon and Meadow trails starting at 9:00am.

After a brief discussion, we decided to cancel the hike. However,
since all the SCVN summer hikes are posted in the Arizona Daily Star,
as the lead guide, I would need to drive to Ski Valley letting those who may
still be planning on hiking know that the hike had been cancelled.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-3 blog

As somewhat expected, the weather conditions got worse as I drove up Catalina Highway.
The conditions kept changing rapidly from mist, thick fog, to rain.

When I arrived at the Ski Valley parking lot, there were five vehicles
with about twelve people preparing to hike. At closer look,
I didn’t recognize anyone,
so I ask if they were there to do the SCVN led hike —
no, they were members of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club.
The conversation ended quickly as we were beginning to experience a heavy downpour.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-4 blog

The rain lasted long enough for the hiking club members to call off their hike.
It didn’t help that the temperature was 55 wet degrees.

Ironically, the Southern Arizona Hiking Club had been planning on doing
the same combination of trails as SCVN had scheduled.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-5 blog

Now that my task was completed, I started my drive back, stopping at the Summerhaven public restrooms.

I was hoping to get a cup of coffee in Summerhaven, but that would have to wait till getting back down the mountain.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-7 blog

In the summertime, the monsoon weather can change quickly, bringing plenty of lightening, wind, hail and rain.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-9 blog

For the return drive, the fog had lifted and the thick clouds had begun to breakup.
Since I had plenty of time, what better used of it than to stop now and then takeing photos.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-10 blog

In the distance beyond the last ridge is the Tucson basin. Arriving home after 10:30am, I could see very dark clouds moving into the Tucson area. By mid-day we had received 1.8 inches of rain. What a great way to begin July and the monsoon season in the desert.

— kenne

 

Mt. Lemmon Fall Colors   2 comments

Fall Colors (1 of 1) blogMt. Lemmon Fall Colors Near the Ski Valley Lift– Image by kenne

Fall’s canvass becomes

A spectacle of colors

before dropping leaves.

— kenne

Ski Valley Fall Colors   3 comments

Aspen Draw Fall Colors-8370 blog

Aspen Draw Fall Colors-8406 blog

Aspen Draw Fall Colors-8364 blog

Aspen Draw Fall Colors-8366 blog

Ski Valley Area On Mt. Lemmon, the southern-most skiing in North America (45 min from where we live in Tucson — Images by kenne

Skiing Poem

Wind rushing past my face,

Hair tossing behind my head.

The feeling, the chill, the utter thrill

The feeling I get when I’m flying down the hill,

Gliding across the soft blanket of white,

Weightless as if I were a feather.

Turn by turn, slope by slope, I take on the hill,

 The monster of a mountain.

Moguls, jumps I challenge them all,

Wind rushing past my face,

Chilling me to my bones.

 I feel the thrill swell, swell

Swell within me until I can’t hold it back.

Swoosh, swish, the snow billows up beside me

Into great clouds of white.

I can’t see a thing.

O the feeling, the thrill the utter chill,

The feeling I get when I’m skiing.

– Anne Cox – Age 11 When Written

Mt. Lemmon Fall Colors And The Story Of The First Ski Slope   1 comment

Images by kenne (Click on any of the images for larger view and slideshow.)

For you non-locals, Mt. Lemmon (9,157 ft.) is in the Santa Catalina Mountains, part of the Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona.

At this time all National Forest Services continue to be closed because of the government shut-down. However, access to Mt. Lemmon via the Catalina Highway is available since the highway is a county highway.

The Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) are part of the Forest Service and regularly provide educational programs, nature walks and hikes — the schedule is published on the SCVN website. Some of the SCVN members continue the hiking schedule (unofficially), recently hiking the Bear Wallow trail to take in the fall colors.

Parts of the trail goes through the area where the original Mt. Lemmon ski slope was located back in the 40’s and 50’s. Since part of SCVN mission to the public is to educate, Ricki Mensching shares the story of early skiing on Mt. Lemmon during the Bear Wallow hike this past Friday. Current skiing takes place each at winter at Ski Valley, the southernmost ski destination in the continental United States, and receives approximately 180 inches (4.6 m) of snow annually (Wikipedia).

kenne

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