Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pigot Bay, Prince William Sound

Sam C and I have been planning a ski trip to PWS for a while now.

We reserved a USFS cabin in Pigot Bay, and skied for 4 days in and around the cabin and surrounding drainages.  I took some good advice from friends who had done a similar trip last winter, and brought along a 14' Zodiac and 15hp motor.  And it paid dividends...

Sam, Justin and I landed on the beach to find bluebird skies and lots of snow.  Estimated snowpack depth was about 12-15 feet!

Preparations started early.  I brought the Zodiac, Sam brought the kitchen sink.
We got a water taxi from Cap'n Mike Bender at Lazy Otter Charters.  His boat, The Explorer, devoured all of our gear.
The shooting gallery.
Yes we have a maritime snowpack.  Heavy and wet gives way to cold smoke.
After setting up camp and downloading gear, we headed out for a maiden voyage of the Zodiac to ski from the USCG Communications Tower.  Enroute to our objective.
Lots of up and down, bushwhacking, deep snow, trailbreaking.....and sunshine.
Lobita enjoying the cold smoke April powder.
A look at our tracks just left of center below the tower.  Beautiful steep tree skiing.  Reminds me of glade skiing on the east coast.
Out of our front door on Saturday morning.  Its gonna be a good day...
A rare view.  Skis on a boat?  Putting a new meaning to "sea to summit".
Just about the only wildlife we saw.
We climbed in the sun and gained the ridgeline.  Justin drops over the north side to find more April powder shots into Pirate Cove.
Another run of the goodness.  We actually wanted to ski the couloir in the background, but were thwarted by cliffs/nogo terrain, and tidal flats.
Dogface got quite the workout.  I've never seen her do this before.  She made a bed and took a power nap, like a sled dog.
Literally skiing to the ocean, from summit to sea.
Cabin life.  The PB cabin was really nice.  It got an upgrade recently, and has a nice propane heater and some new furniture and woodwork.  Thanks CNF!!
Sunday was a bit of a touring day.  We were headed for the backside of the cabin, but Jack got quilled by a Porcupine.  We returned to the cabin for first aid, he wasn't having it.  We headed out again in the Zod, and were turned around after a puking snow storm, bad vis, and one hell of a bushwhack.

The staples of a skiing trip.  Summer Ale, pontoons, and a PFD.  Glad we had them.  We received about 12" of fresh the morning we left.  We ate like Kings.  Sam C grilling steaks from Mike's Meats in Eagle River.
Storm skiing in the P-dub!  Justin contemplating the drop in.

All in a days work.  The Cap'n and his second mate (Meg would be the first) headed back to the beach.
Not sure exactly of the totals, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 7000 vertical feet skied.  Here is a map of our climbing (red) and ski descents (blue).
This type of trip is certainly on the agenda for each spring, and to explore what else PWS has to offer.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Overall, looks like an awesome trip, Matt!!
We should talk.

April 13, 2010 at 11:54 PM  

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