Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dusk Patrol

WOW!  That's all I can say.  I've been neglecting North Bowl this year, either due to bad visibility or weather.  This was not the case last night.  B-real and I rallied for an after work powder mission...with Dogface in close pursuit on the Uptrack.  I've got to say that this is my favorite time of year - longer days and good snow!

Anchorage-ites were encased in a fog sarcophagus, while we were climbing in the warm setting sun.  There was no wind, but 'ol man wind had its way with the South Fork on Saturday.  I observed several small natural slab avalanches and cornice breaks through the terrain.  We skied some nice 2-3" dust on a supportable base back to the trailhead.

Here is a quick video edit that I put together of my initial descent.  Some day i'll call this LB's favorite!

I have a feeling that with these conditions Gordon Lyon will be slayed in a subsequent after work hammer fest.  I haven't been around here as long as some of the "graybeards", but the skiing and stability has been phenomenal - no PWL's (persistent weak layers) and a deep snowpack = LOW danger!

Ski safe and enjoy!

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

SoFo Powder, Blizzard Warnings and CrossFit

From the looks of it, everyone enjoyed the sun while it lasted.  Saturday started with perfect bluebird skies and no wind until the high clouds moved in signaling a strong low pressure front moving in from the Bering Sea.
We'll see what this storm brings... this is what the forecasters have to say, "STEADY LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE BOWL AND MATANUSKA VALLEY. STILL EXPECTING TO SEESEVERAL INCHES OF ACCUMULATION OVER A 12 TO 18 HOUR PERIOD..." Snowfall totals are expected to be around 5-9".

But this storm didn't change the fantastic skiing on tap in the Chugach front. We headed to my all time favorite powder stash. The wind had picked up and was actively transporting snow. But the bowl held perfect boot-top powder. The powder hound even made an appearance!  And it was the best day of the year in the South Fork by my count!
I ran into a skiing/packrafting friend on Friday night and he put this season into great perspective, "each day I go out I keep saying it was the best day of the year." Not a bad way to ski the finest snow in the world!

I was plagued with camera issues as my GoPro card was full, and the above photo doesn't do the SoFo tree shot any justice (shhhhh...). Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug!

In other news, i'm competing in the CrossFit Games Open.  WOD 12.1 was As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) for 7 minutes: Burpees!  I was at Arctic CrossFit early yesterday morning to get my workout judged.  My goal was to break 100, but I only managed to bust out 94.  We've got 4 more weeks of workouts, with one workout per week.

94 burpees and then a couple of hours of skiing!  Made for a perfect apres ski of Brewhouse Blonde and Cheese Fries at the Eagle River Ale House!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Winner Creek

February has been a crazy month so far for storm snow.  Alyeska Resort has received 204" of new snow since the first of the month.  Get out the shovels, because another 8-12" is expected today.

On Saturday, Matt & Agnes rallied for their first BC outing since returning from NZ and Mitch rounded out the group.  We decided on the long slog out to the snowcat terrain past Winner Creek.  We made quick time on the cat track and met the large group of clients as we reached the base of Notch Mountain.  Every single one of them had some type of GoPro camera attached to various parts of their body.

Speaking of GoPro's, I put together this quick edit of the fantastic powder skiing.

And it's been a rough year for the lower 48 and avalanche deaths.  4 people were killed yesterday in two separate incidents at Stevens and Snoqualmie passes.  Girdwood native and freeskier Elyse Saugstad was one of the group members caught and carried.  6 people have been killed in Colorado this year.

Also interesting to note that she was wearing an ABS Avalanche Airbag Backpack.  Recent videos of an incident in Colorado of a BCA Float 30 avalanche airbag that went "viral".  Thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families.

Stay safe and enjoy all of the white stuff!


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