Friday, January 29, 2016

The Ski Lyfe

It's been a hot second since i've been in the mountains. Local pow slayer and expert "relocator of LB's", Haymitch, and I agreed for a short tour last Saturday to work out the kinks and check conditions in the Chugach Front.
Looking down the South Fork Valley.
It was literally like I forgot what I was doing. My boots had dust on them, I wasn't sure if my skins would stick, the batteries in my beacon were dead, my pack had a half eaten Snickers from two seasons ago, and the bottom of my skis looked like the surface of the moon.

After spending all of last season in the Lesser 48, and the season before that taking care of my family, it was good to be on the snow moving uphill.  Regardless of the ski conditions, the company and the majestic views always keep me coming back.

On the Uptrack.  Looking back into the SoFo Valley.
Surprisingly, the snow quality was much better than expected.  Our #squadgoalz didn't exactly match up, so we cut our tour a bit short and opted for the locals powder shot.  As usual, it didn't disappoint.

I call this a twofer. Meesh and I visited the Chugach Strength Factory following our quick ski tour for some functional fitness.  Aint nuttin' wrong with some snatch n' grabs followed by a few rounds of partner "Cindy".
Meesh going below parallel.
Although life priorities often conflict with bluebird powder days, I still have plans to get after it whether that's on the river, at the cabin, in the mountains or out in the garage gym.  In the meantime, i'm busy raising my future backcountry ski partner.
Miss Ellie
Until then, get out there and get after it.  Don't forget to ski fast and take chances!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Uptrack: No Stoke.

So if you've visited this site within the last year, you'll see no updates.  It seems that with two back-to-back shitty winters I've found other priorities to concentrate on - namely my family and our cabin in Talkeetna.  And not to mention that Uncle Sam has sent me to Missouri for the winter so I could attend school to become a good engineer.  Not to worry though, i'll be back to enjoy the Alaskan summer and prepare for another ski season.  Until then, i'll post some pics of my Missouri adventures...not nearly as cool as Alaska, but dat'll do donkey.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chugach Dawn Patrol

We rallied early.  Local powder extraordinaire Meesh and I linked up at the AVSA parking lot just before 8am.  With the objective of the shady north aspects of Gordon Lyon and the Nike Missile silo ridge line, we made quick time up Center Bowl.  Although the refresh gave us 14" of soft snow, the wind did some damage and built some pretty sizable wind slabs.
"Meesh just changed his cover photo..."
There was quite a temperature inversion, so we were enjoying the sunshine and gentle breeze.  We decided to live to ski another day, and treated those wind loaded slopes with respect.  Each entrance we scouted had some pretty deep gnarly looking slabs guarding them.  So we skied back down Tequila Bowl - which was very good considering the recent weather conditions.  Despite a few tracks, we found soft snow back to the cat track.

Two MNSBC Kodiak Brown's were strategically placed in the bed of my truck, which tasted really good at the crack of 10am on a Saturday.

A "rex block" is currently giving us lots of bluebird days.  I expect to see some huge lines put down as the CNFAIC has issued a "LOW" avalanche danger.  The Shrink and I are going to ski some corduroy at the resort.  Stay safe fast, take chances!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two Bowls

Scott Fennell once told me, "March in Alaska is the reward for December in Alaska".  And boy is this true.  With the recent turn of the clocks forward, daylight savings time has given us an extra hour to enjoy the sun, blue skies, and snow.

I rallied after work today to the end of Hiland Road to find empty streets and mountains full of powder.  ER local thrashette Bernadette met me for some turns and quickly left me in the dust on the uptrack.

Our objective was the lookers left gully off of Harp proper, but it got pretty skied out on the last bout of snowfall.  So we hopped over the ridge to the north.  Although the top had some stiff wind board, the gut gave way to soft snow on a stable base.

B earnin' it...
 LB earnin' it...
Looks like a nice window of clear and cold for the next couple of days.  So stop reading internet blogs and go skiing.  And be sure to ski fast, and take chances.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Presidents

Sucker Hole (n): a fleeting patch of blue sky in an otherwise overcast sky.

Despite significant snow accumulation in the Anchorage Bowl (reports of nearly 22" on the Hillside), I did the reverse commute from our Talkeetna palace to Hatcher Pass to meet my brutha from anotha motha - Vance.  Hopefully some after work ski outings will bring face shots and blue can call me whatever you want, but don't call me late for dinner.

We parked it at the Archangel lot after doing a recky of the Indy lot.  We decided to head back down the pass after seeing the carnage on the west face of Marmot and other slopes.  With clear skies and cold temps, we were underway.  About mid mountain we were greeted with fast moving clouds and flurries making the uptrack rather difficult.

As we topped out, the view improved, said sucker hole appeared, and we peeled just below the summit that overlooks the Rae-Wallace bowl.

Vancy Pants slashing...

 Yours truly with LB in hot pursuit.  Making nice with dust on crust with pockets of enjoyable.
The day ended with some Kodiak Brown's on the tailgate and soaking in that sunshine.  We also caught up with Eddie from HYT.

I apologize for the lack of content....well not really; but i'll get back in the saddle once life calms the eff down.  Until fast, take chances.

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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