Monday, May 26, 2008

Eklutna Traverse: Day Four

Another day dawned bright and clear...the boys were getting itchy to get off the glacier and were ready to go try ice climbing, sea kayaking and beer drinking...not bad alternatives. : ) So we decided to get up early and allow time to make it out to either the Nordic center or Goat ridge.

Alongside the rock outcrop that Han's Hut sits on is a big half moon scoop of snowy glacier. The walls of it are smooth and steep and collect great shadows. Very scenic.

Wind Scoop


The mountain club of alaska or volunteers from there have done a lot of work on Han's Hut. The inside looked like it had gotten a bright fresh coat of paint and the floor looked clean enough to eat off... Plus the outside was a variation on my new favorite color, pink!

Hans Hut


Skiing from Han's hut was pretty great. We started out with our skins off and made good time back onto the glacier. From there we roped up and only skinned about 1/2 mile before we started to trend consistently downward...a nice reprieve from the uphill we took off our skins, but this time stayed on the rope, and snow plowed in unison about 2,500 ft down the glacier....Our thighs were burning! Holding the snow plow in glacier travel formation is no easy feat with a large pack!

Glacier Touring


We were below Rosies Roost at 10:30 in the morning and decided that we wanted to continue traveling and On our way up the last mountain we saw a kite skier and watched the wind tow him up and down the glacier as we slowly skinned was pretty awesome to see.

Kite Skier

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A couple hours later we reached the top of the glacier....called Alpine Air and within minutes we were skiing to the Nordic hut at top speeds to catch the heli. I have to say that is the way to go...

Our Gear! barrels


Will, Me, and Andy

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Although its a bit strange after spending four days way out of touch on a glacier to be transported back to green, sunny, girdwood and decisions about where to eat, and how to get there are immediately can't be more than a 7 minute flight....then Bam! Back in civilization.

Over all a fantastic trip with outstanding weather. I have to say that I think this is one of the most worthy trips in the Anchorage area. The mountains are spectacular, the travel interesting and the huts add a little luxury.

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