Jughandle Mountain


No foolin', Jughandle is a cool mountain.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

After herding the cats, we finally had a group to ski Jug; just Bird and I. And Ruby, of course. Ruby doesn't wear ski boots, so she didn't have to stop to fix blisters.

Note the dry spot to sit. The lower end of the trail is pretty melted out, and going fast. Over the next few days, expect to have to hike at least to the Jug Ranch trails.

If one started earlier, they could probably walk most of this, and apparently someone had recently tried just that.


The snow was quite firm, even though we weren't on our feet until 10:20 (the late start was on purpose). And more dry spots appearing.


So we trudged up the trail making pretty good time on the frozen stuff. Soon enough we were in the sun, slathered up with SPF50 on our winter-white skin.

And now the occasional snow sticking to the ski skins. Ugg.

Here you can get a lay of the land. We'll climb out of the trees on sort of the right side, but the summit in on the far left.


Before the real climb began, we sat and had a leisurely lunch in the sun. Comfortably warm with no gloves, no puffies.

And then, time for "high heels" (heel lifts).


We were following some tracks from yesterday (we think) and still making pretty good time. Trying to find the sweet spot between too steep for the available oxygen and achy hips from too much traversing.

And marveling at the views. Bird pointed out that although 'awesome' is over-used these days, here it was entirely appropriate.


Still a ways to go. It looks so close......our actual summit is the leftest high point.


The long view down Long Valley.

If we're just doing turns, we're usually headed for the high point in the center here, dubbed 'Ladybug.' But the true summit is about 500' higher than that.


And finally the view from the summit.

Bird doing the boot up the last 50'. Trailhead
Summit shot. We held our breath for this; otherwise remaining socially distanced. Trailhead

Bird looking (and feeling) heroic on the summit.

Ruby nonchalant; it was her 4th time up here.


We did the long traverse back to our fall-line descent at a pretty good clip, pausing only to let Ruby catch her breath.

Interesting conditions: not yet fully corned so some sloppy wet snow, some slightly icy spots, some sticky yuk. Keeps you on your toes (quite literally, since neither of us had heel pieces).

And then we got to make turns. In the inconsistent snow, it was hard to consistently stay in control.


Bird looking pro.

It was so bright I couldn't' see anything at all on the viewfinder. Just point in the general direction and push the shutter. So apologies on the Lost Horizon.

The trail down through the woods was funky-sticky. But our slow skis made it easy to stay at a safe speed through the brush and other hazards. A relief for tired legs. Until the drop from the Jug Ranch trails- that was pretty terrible and incurred some base scratches.


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