Spring for Ward, hah. Please forgive me my pun but I just couldn't help it. Ryan and I had a fantastic day of spring skiing on Ward Mountain yesterday.
The weather has been on the warm side lately and in true Spring fashion, we had to hike up a thousand feet or so to find the snow. Gotta love those vibram soles on the ski boots.
We found a couple thousand feet of fun skiing through the open trees and glades on the shoulder of Ward. The snow is on the better side of variable Spring snow: no powder, but plenty skiiable. A few patches of icy snow, corn snow at lower elevations, and heavy on top of a crust up high. For the most part, my skis stayed on top of the snow and had no trouble carving through the variable conditions.
Unbeatable views into the neighboring Roaring Lion/Sawtooth drainage to our North, and expansive views of the Valley and the Sapphires to the East.
We found the track uphill to be pretty straightforward. Park at the Sawtooth Creek parking area up Roaring Lion Road and cross to trailhead on the South side of the road. Follow the trail until it is covered by snow, and then head up the shoulder through glades and trees - we stayed on the North side to see the views. We skinned up to about 8000 feet, at this point the slope decreases and the trees get tighter.
Here's a map of our gpx tracks. Click on the "View in Hillmap" link at the bottom of the map to visit hillmap.com and download the gpx tracks to your gps.