Bunchgrass Creek Ski/Snowshoe, 21 February, 2021

Cache Hikers decided to minimize avalanche risk after the Utah Avalanche Center reported, “A significant natural cycle occurred across the Logan Zone, with many huge avalanches having occurred late in the big storm, Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning. Very large natural avalanches failing on a buried sugary persistent weak layer and running well out into lower elevation runout zones were widespread and occurred on slopes facing every direction.”  Bunchgrass Creek is relatively free from avalanches due to lack of surrounding steep slopes.  Fourteen fearless hikers ventured forth:  Kathy, Brent, Teresa, Susan, Ralph, Dave W, Jane, Laurel, Dick, Deanna, Becky, Jessie, Chris, and Dave P (leader).  Five were on skis and the others had snowshoes.  We arrived at the trailhead about 10:40 am and returned to it at 1:50 pm.

The weather was mostly cloudy with a few snow showers and sunlight occasionally coming through.  The snow-covered trees made a classic winter scene.  We came across a small animal trail made up of intermittent dashes that wove between the trees and went under the snow at one point, possibly made by a weasel. There was good snow coverage on the trail and heavy but not crusty snow off trail.  The first “stream” crossing was completely snow covered and there were only a few places along the trail where water could be seen.  Dave W measured 120 cm of snow at Goring Pond, the lunch stop.  Kathy gave us crisp chocolate cookies.  On the way back we met four skiers with big packs headed up to the Bunchgrass yurt.  The skiers were able to control their speed in the heavy snow but flat lighting made it hard to anticipate dips.  Becky brought a small sled that gave her at least one good ride.   

Trip Summary:
  • Participants:  Dave W., Chris, Teresa, Deanna and Dave P. (leader) on cross-country skis and Kathy, Brent, Susan, Ralph, Jane, Laurel, Dick, Becky, and Jessie on snowshoes. 
  • Drove 23 miles to the US-89 parking area near Bunchgrass Creek
  • Started about 10:45 with lunch from 12:15 - 12:50 and back at the road by 1:45. 
  • Mostly overcast skies and lightly snowing, a mild breeze, temperatures ranging from about 25 ºF to 35 ºF, with 47 inches of snow at our lunch spot. 
  • Covered about 3.8 miles with 770 feet of ascent and descent

Thanks to Dave P. for the narrative, Jane for photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.

There was no water in Bunchgrass creek this year, so no snow bridge, either (see previous report)
Does this remind you of the Chilkoot Pass
It was snowing lightly as we ate lunch near Goring Pond
Our GPS track shows about 3.8 miles and 770 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.