Monday, March 31, 2008

WFR Weekend in Talkeetna

The WFR class is always a lot of fun, but I always seems to dread spending three days in a classroom, especially since I'm already a student. But as always the recert class did not disappoint. It was a great brush up on skills and protocol and a great opportunity to hang out with fun like minded people.

On the drive in the whole Alaska range stood out with crystal clear clarity. Definitely a treat!



Scenarios are a great way to find out how good your skills really are. We were trying to backboard Sarah sideways in a litter, which we found out is a little more tricky that it seems. No one is holding her head because we were able to step out of scene due to time constraints....and it was still hard!

Sarah the Back Board Warrior Princess

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good Bye Valdez

After a wild night, everyone slept in and woke up with varying degrees of debilitation. I felt good until I moved, and then I felt like vomitting. Yuck! I really wanted to climb Keystone Greensteps on the way out of looked so beautiful, but my body just wouldn't let me. It was pretty grim. I wasn't even going to stop and climb unless Kremer and the rest of the ladies were already there. I thought about doing Piece of Shit, just because thats how I felt....but Kremer was there, and tantalizing me with the prospect of winning a new rope by doing the speed climbing comp. At first I though speed climbing with a hangover...that doesn't sound good, but then she said if I puked I could subtract 7 secs from my time....that seemed more fair!


I didn't puke though, won a new rope (1:42) and ended up climbing a few more lines, laughing with the ladies, and then it was time to say good bye to a beautiful I'm in lecture listening to facts about COPD and other chronic obstructive lung disorders, but my mind is still in Valdez.
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Oh Yeah the Pixies Can Party

I don't think Valdez has seen a party like this for a long time. Not only were there tons of women, 2 kegs, and a live band, but also a break dance circle. It was an amazingly fun festive event that didn't die down till after 2am...

Sue Getting Her Groove On


Kremer Rocking the Box Hat


Kremer and Skine Stylin out the Box Hat (So freaking Cute!)


Lynn and Zach Smiling Wide

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Ice Pixies Everywhere!!!!

This weekend was fabulous, brilliant, and amazing. It was so much fun to be surrounded by women, ice tools, crampons, and climbing.

BT barbecuing Salmon and Bean for the Ladies!


A view of the Activity


A View from Afar


A View From Above by Lynn Peterson

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To See more pics click on the album

Ice Pixies Festival 2008_03_15

Ice Pixies Climbing Bridal Veil Falls

Although I was a little cranky waking up Friday morning, I soon got over it as I looked up at the beaming sun, bluebird skies, and felt a noteable lack of breeze through my hair. Valdez is a notoriously cold, windy, and snowy place. This might have been the best possible day on Bridal Veil. Lynn, Sue, Tonya and I, split up into two rope teams at the bottom, and everyone led a pitch or two.

Bridal Veil


The Killer Pillar was pretty sun baked and rotten this year. There was one groove of ice that was hanging on to the far left. It was a fun pitch with lots of good stems and fun moves.

Tonya and Sue below the Killer Pillar


It was so warm and sunny up there it was hard not to be lackadaisical at the belays. I could of sat up there in the sun admiring the beautiful view all day.

Lynn, Sue, Tonya, and I at the Anchor Above the Killer Pillar


It was pretty funny in retrospect when I rapped into the belay cave I accidentally came over a little to far to the lookers left and ended up hanging in space a bit away from the ice in a downpour from the daggers above. I had to fish out my tool, and swing into the ice, to hook it and pull myself in....oops!

Lynn Rapping into the Belay Cave at the Top of the First Pitch

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Ice Pixies Climbing Bridalveil 2008_03_14

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stairway Adventure

I think this was in the top three most fantastic ski experiences ever. I'm pretty much a iceclimber, so it has to be super good for me to go skiing when I am surrounded by long beautiful ice routes.

Valdez Dawn


So Ryan, Lynn, Skine, Kremer, Jared, Neil, Leah, and Phil all got dropped off on "the Perch" by the heli, unfortunately it couldn't land on the summit because of high winds. We all skied variations of a beautiful couloir and then the boot packing extravaganza began.

Jared and Neil Bootbacking


The last couloir we did was pretty exciting. It was about 1,600 and the last 300 feet just got narrower and steeper. At the tippy top of it my skis wouldn't have fit I slid back down to where they would! There was a horrendously cold and strong wind at the top as well, so we were all in a hurry to strap our skis on a get out of there. I actually successfully made jump was a pretty proud moment for me!

Lynn, Phil, and Ryan at the Top of the Super Fun Couloir


This is a picture of the Super Fun Couloir, Lynn is a little dot on the left side of the climb. The lookers right of the picture you can see a little snow ramp at the top, and that was our high point. It was pretty amazing skiing....perfectly steep.

A View Up the Super Fun Couloir


Stairway Area, Valdez 2008_03_13
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I wish it was easier to post more than four pics at a time, but its not, so visit my picassa web album for more pics.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Promised Land....Literally

I love skiing POWDER!!

Lynn Skinning Up


Lynn Boarding Down


Top of the Run Tea


Ryan Boot Packing Up

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To See more beauteous pictures click here!
The Promised Land 2008_03_12

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hurdy Gurdy Extravaganza

Lynn and I suffered through the worst post hole session that I have ever endured. The words of my friend Kellie kept running through my head, "Sherrie your legs are like alders, but mine are like douglas firs", I so wish that I had that pair of douglas firs busting that trail! In some places it wasn't even post holing, it was more like body shoveling. I had to use my knees to collapse the snow so that I could step on was up to my boobs. More than once I wondered what we were thinking...and then I thought that karma was slapping me around for making fun of slow shoers so much this winter....anyway it was a fantastic day, long and very worthy!

The Hurdy Gurdy Climbs


I have no idea how Lynn could look so happy wallowing through the snow, but she did!


The middle climb looked bad ass, I was pretty much intimidated by the grey looking ice and the blank looking rock section between the two pitches. But it looked interesting so we decided to give it a go. After climbing up the thickest looking ice on the route and bottoming out 13cm screws, I pretty much decided by the top of the pitch that if the thickest looking ice wouldn't take short screws the top would be pretty much unprotectable with the rack that we had. I think that the line would go but you would need some super stubbies (10cm) and some rock gear.

Lynn and I at the Top of the First Pitch


Lynn Side Hilling over to the Second Climb

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Car to car it took us 13 hours. It would have been so much faster had the snow not been so brutally soft and deep. But there is a beautiful trail in now for anyone else that wants to get after it!

To see lots more pictures of the climbs click here

Hurdy Gurdy Climbs 2008_03_10

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Girls Gone Wild

There is nothing more I love about climbing, than hanging out with good friends. I laughed so much yesterday...It was a pretty monumentous occasion because my crazy friend Kellie graced me with her presence. At first I thought the snow had for sure gone to shit, because she is an "extreme" skier, and pretty much skis every single day she for her to come climbing with me and Lynn was pretty special.
Then Lynn, I think, opened up a new chapter in her life of climbing....she roshed for a steep lead! That may not sound like much, but it was HUGE. And of course fate deemed her worthy to win...I think I finally can relate to the pride a parent feels....I was so proud of her, she looked up at the line, was super nervous, and gave it her all. She did so good. Leading is hard, especially your first 100 times, but she crushed it!

Lynn Leading Annie Greensprings


Three Cute Girls in One Canyon


The Man Cave

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Lots more pictures

Elutna Canyon with Lynn and Kellie 2008_03_08

Friday, March 7, 2008

Damn Avalanche Gullies

I really wanted to climb at the Hillside Pillars after Ekultna Canyon, and I hadn't been up there in months. It was a beautiful sunny day, which was especially nice since I got rained on all morning...Yuck! But the Hillside Pillars is unfortunately located in a massive avalanche gulley...two large cornices were lurking like assasins above a wind loaded slope that hadn't slid. Natural avalanches had released on multiple slopes with the same aspect. Sometimes I hate being responsible...but its fun to be alive!

So this is the far away look at the mountains above the Hillside Pillars, the gulley on the far right, and all the slopes above it funnel down into the pillars.


Looking out toward Pioneer Peak


Natural releases on the same aspect


A look at the pillars and the massive cornices above it

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To see a few more pictures click here, the closer mountain views just show more views of the cornices and slopes above the pillars. It hasn't slid yet this season...

Looking up the Gun Barrel at The Hillside Pillars