Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tincan Trees

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years family, friends and fellow skiers!  With it being December, our snowpack is pretty darn shallow.  Seff and I ventured south for his first taste of the Kenai Mountains and Turnagain Pass.  The forecast said 3-5" fresh, but it was more like 1-3".  We met local packrafter and ski mountaineer Luc in the parking lot and got to catch up on the uptrack.

We peeled off at tree line, as the alpine has been quite touchy lately.  Lots of tender windslab that's been the cause of some recent skier triggered avy's in Superbowl and Magnum.

Seff drops to find a lack of windslab, and plenty of soft snow.  Turnagain Arm and Blueberry Hill are in the background.
We stopped to watch the sea ice and snap a couple of sunset pics.  A lot of people hate December in Alaska.  I think it gives way to fantastic lighting and alpenglow on the mountains.  This is taken from a pullout along the Seward Highway, looking towards Hope.
Hope you are all able to find soft snow!  Enjoy a safe New Years Eve, ski fast and take chances!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice Ski

Happy Winter Solstice everyone!  Bring back the light!

It's still early season out there folks.  I headed up Hiland Road for a quick tour and wasn't very impressed.  Despite the cool temps and consistent snowfall, the snowpack is still pretty shallow.  And now even shallower above tree line due to the sustained winds and the availability of loose snow for transport.

The South Fork is officially wind eff'd.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.  Ski fast, take chances.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bring Your LJ's

Hey backcountry skiers, friends, and family.  It's been a while since an update on this blog.  Our summer has come and gone, ushering in yet another ski season. Highlights from this summer were some much needed improvements at the cabin to include a wood shed, final grade and a deck (or porch if you ask the Shrink).

In other news, it seems that Mitch from Telemark Tips has pulled the plug.  That was a good place for local AK stoke, as well as what the skiing, riding and avalanche conditions were like.  And a good bit of asshattery.  I wonder if the TGR forum has an Alaska page?

Friday was my first day out this year.  It was a tad bit chilly, -7F showing on the Indy Mine SnoTel.  But that didn't stop anyone from enjoying the white stuff.  We joined the masses and enjoyed the sunshine on the uptrack to Marmot.  I dropped a random gully on west facing Marmot to be pleasantly surprised.  Nearly knee deep, nice and soft, with no crust underneath.  Seemed like many others enjoyed the goods that HP consistently offers...

We stopped at the Fishhook Bar on the way home.  Alaskan Winter Ale on tap, and homemade apple pie.  It was $FREE.99.  Can't beat that.

I took the dogs out today to the South Fork, Eagle River trailhead.  It was pretty disheartening considering the snowpack and it's already December 1st.  Hopefully we get some big dumps our way soon.  Until then, stay tuned, ski fast and take chances.