Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Goose Bay and Culross Island

The newly constructed Goose Bay Forest Service Cabin.
I just returned from spending five days skiing in Prince William Sound out of the Forest Service cabin at Goose Bay.  It was constructed last May after the South Culross cabin was demolished.  Besides Matt Murphy and his cabin crew from Girdwood, we were the first official skiers to visit the cabin.

Cap'n Mike Bender from Lazy Otter Charters did a great job on the water taxi.  Although Goose Bay was partly frozen, we got off about 250 yards from the cabin.  This, however, required a two hour movement over the sea ice and steep banks of the bay.  Lets just say the return trip was  a lot easier to navigate.
The snow conditions were no surprise to anyone.  After the horrific wind in Southcentral, combined with no new snow in the last 3 weeks, conditions were dismal.  But you've heard me say it before, "skiing is skiing".  If it weren't for ski crampons, we wouldn't have been able to navigate to the terrain we skied otherwise.

In a total of 3 full days and 2 half days of skiing, we bagged nearly 11,500 vertical feet.  I am going to return to Culross Island when we have  powder.  The ski access directly from the front door of the cabin gives way to phenomenal tree skiing - something an east-coaster takes a particular liking to...

We took it upon ourselves to name all of the runs that we skied.  So if you hear something in this blog, it has been aptly named by yours truly.

Tyler descends the Dogface in the soft afternoon corn.
Marc harvesting the goods.

B-real contemplates the boilerplate.

On Day 2, we toured for nearly 7 hours and finally summitted Goose Peak.  This was our favorite run of the trip, named Sound of Sunshine.  It was a beautiful south facing shot that ran cleanly all the way down to the water.

On the way to recovery.  Where recovery is measured in vertical feet.
Marc working on his tan.
After five full days of turns, I had a tired pup on my hands.  When we took a break, she took a break.
Splitter weather gave way to cold and clear nights.  With no propane in the two 50 gallon tanks, we had to improvise with our own stash of fuel and below zero down sleeping bags.  This is the second cabin trip in a row that was bingo on propane.

The northern lights were out and amazing.  I was surprised to see them so well this far to the south.
I also experimented with the illumination of the moon and some other constellations.
Cabin life.  I made B-real run back and forth with a flashlight to make this shot.  After cleaning this up, I did notice the Aurora in the background.
On the second to last day we got the Tsunami Advisory over our VHF radio.  Pretty crazy considering we were about five feet above sea level at the time.

Check out this video of our trip.

If you've never skied in the Sound, make it a future destination on your backcountry bucket list.  You won't be disappointed.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Count me in for next year! Looks amazing.

March 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM  

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