Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lots of Blue and White!

The weather has cooperated.....but Father Wind has not.  On Saturday I skied with Anchorage-based professional photographers Matt and Agnes Hage from Hage Photo.  Our powder mission took us to the heart of the Kenai Mountains - Turnagain Pass.  We traveled off the beaten path a bit, as all of the usual turnouts were packed.  However, Lipps was not different with groups of 2 or 4 scattering the ridgetops.  Crowded or not, we found some spectacular snow.  Although we did some work for some of Matt's clients, I was obliged to lend a hand by making multiple laps in the riches that Mother Nature had dropped the previous day...8 inches to be exact.

Matt gets to reap the benefits of his own hard work.
Agnes (AKA "The Talent") is all smiles.
Yours truly enjoying my day's work.
Today I headed out to Hatcher Pass to see what the recent storm total of 16" had done to the snowpack.  TTips, CNFAIC, and the State Troopers all reported of a large natural avalanche closing the road.  Sure enough, the main south facing Marmot ribs had slid.

I toured up past the Indy Mine towards Friendship Pass and Gold Cord.  Although the pass was my destination to scope out some new lines, I didn't go past the base of Gold Cord.  Elevations above 4000 feet were pretty wind hammered.  I enjoyed my breakable crust and low angle powder turns with LB back to the truck.  Yup, she's off the injured reserve after pulling a hammy.

The Uptrack...
 I did manage to scope this nice couloir.  Maybe a springtime endeavour?
Almost every steep wind loaded gully had slid during or after this most recent storm.  I talked to a guy in the parking lot that triggered a slide and was carried for a bit in one of the chutes on the north side of Marmot.  His partner was apparently partially buried.  Crown face measured 2-2.5'.  Be careful out there, its touchy.

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