Sunday, October 18, 2009

Running Shoe Mountaineering: Above Bench Lake

Slush was sliding and catching along the banks of the Matanuska river when Bill met me and ferried me across in his inflatable kayak. I always wondered how shelf ice formed, I felt like I was watching the first steps of the whole river freezing process. It was awesome.

Bill told me he had a ridge walk in mind behind his house, and since I've never hiked on that side of the Matanuska river I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to look around. We left from the yurt at about 1 in the afternoon, made it to the ridge by 3, and were on top of our peak by 5:45...from here gendarmes made the traveling a bit more interesting....

Heading Up and Around
Photo by: Bill Billmier


It was kind of bad timing that the most exposed sketchy part of our hike happened as the sun was setting...there was some debate as to making do with what we had or searching for something the end like an addicted gambler I couldn't help but feel if we just went a little further something better would appear....and it did....barely. First time I've used a Bibler...have to say I'm now a big fan.

Our Lovely Campsite

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After an early start we were lucky to reach the top of the ridge just as the sun crested the mountains beyond, the snow sparkled so brightly it was mesmerizing, I wish I could live a lifetime in moments like those...

Early Morning Peak Bagging


Billmier exists in a different reality than me sometimes...getting up at 6:30 when its dark is the most natural option in his mind...steep, sketchy slopes hardly make him pause...Even though I know what I'm comfortable with its still unnerving to have to be the one to decide if the risk is acceptable or not...because Bill is always so chill and willing....basically way more talented and less scared! That damn self preservation instinct!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Between the Clouds: Lost Lake

I was looking to get out for either a long day in the mountains or a long run...Meaghan had never done the Lost Lake trail before, and I have this need I guess to initiate people to the beauty up there...We dropped the car at the fire station and stuck out our thumbs hoping to get a quick ride to the trail head. I was shocked by how many people passed us, and to add insult actually waved as they went by....I didn't want to play waving games, I wanted a freaking ride...idiots!

I think though maybe fate was just waiting for Dan to come by in his massive blue pick up truck...because only with a truck like that were we able to drive, and not swim to the trail head. He was telling us how the there is a lake that builds back under the snow glacier and every two years like clockwork it lets loose and floods the river....I swear the water was at least 3-4 feet deep on the Primrose road...lucky for us we were in a big truck and he just cruised through it.

Meaghan and I


The Biggest Lost Lake


An Awesome Trail

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Although we made it above the fog, we never could quite escape the next cloud layer, it was stubbornly stuck to the mountains at about the 4000 foot level...but we could see the glaciers spilling to the bottom of the was very nice!


Monday, October 12, 2009

An Hour with School Kids: The Dome

Ryan and George Anne both had to forgo school engagements in favor of being outside for a couple hours on a stunningly beautiful fall made me feel thankful that I wasn't in school....especially when Doug and I decided to go see a movie and have a beer afterwards...and GA and Ry went and did homework...


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We sat in the warm sun and looked out from Anchorage all the way to the Alaska Range...this short hike has some very rewarding views.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Escaping the First Cloud Layer: Arctic Valley

Grey drizzly sky awaited me as I left the was moderately unappealing to be outside...if I wasn't desperate to catch an afternoon nap, I probably would never have left the house...

The Sun Always Shines Above the Clouds


I love popping through the clouds into a more sunny day, all of Anchorage was covered up by thick white whip cream clouds, and I was in the sun.

Above the Fog

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Friday, October 2, 2009

The Williwa Football Field Loop

I recently started working nights, and am still not sure of the best way to transition on and off the night I decided to try exhausting myself in the beginning of the day so I could sleep through the middle and then stay up all almost worked!

Frosty Boardwalks


My Shadow Never Ceases to Entertain Me!


The snow was a little deeper and more splotchy than I had anticipated...really beautiful and crisp up there right now...

The Football Field


Although I was short on time the pull of the Omalley waterfall was to hard to resist..I was so close I just had to go look. Things are definitely starting to form up right now, its very thin, with running water, but in another couple weeks if it stays cool I hope to go climbing instead of running up there!!!!

The Omalley Waterfall...(soon to be ice climb!)

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T.2:40:D. :EG.2440

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Last Days of Fall: Bird Ridge

An incredibly pleasant day walking through fall and into the beginning of winter.

Japanese Tourists


The Turnagain Arm


Bird Ridge


Eryn and the Arm

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I had aspirations of going to the largish peak at the end of the ridge, but it didn't happen. Combination of to much snow, running shoes, and not enough motivation, maybe next year!

Slide Show!