Saturday, March 31, 2012

Skiing in Valdez is Awesome!

 Day one took us up a cool gash that eventually opened up into more gentle terrain.


We skied over a glacier bowl to some interesting ski lines.

We skinned up a fun couloir till we hit the ridge and a short boot later were standing above a beautiful powder filled run..

Ryan and I

So nice to be in Valdez!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 30, 2012

Crosswind Lake to Valdez

I got an 8 day stretch off and wanted to leave town. Ryan and I decided to go skiing in Valdez, but on the way we met my friend Rapheal and took a side trip out to his friends cabin on Crosswinds Lake.

The Wrangell Mountains

We all fit on Rapheal's snowmachine, its pretty huge. It was about 18 miles out from Tolsona Lakes.

Ryan, Me and Rapheal

About mid afternoon we made it back to the car and continued down to Valdez, pulling in to the pass by 5. We brought climbing gear and with the limited time decided to go for a quick ski up Sheep creek to check on conditions. Even with no sun, and little wind there was snow and rocks fallng down the routes....not to mention the enormous deposition zones. I wasn't tempted to climb, not even a little bit.

Sheep Creek Climbs
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Skiing in Kellie's Backyard

Fantastic day out skiing with Kellie.  We went up Virgin Creek (i think), I would not do this approach during a low snow year!  We did one lap in the shade, then skied out toward the Tesoro in the sun.  Awesome day out!

Meeting Men on the Ridge

Turnagain Arm
Kellie and I
Really Good Skiing
Looking Back Up the Run
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Skiing in the Front Range

I'm a little embaressed to admit that this was the first time I have ever skied peak 2 and 3....I have seriously been missing out on the local goods.

Ryan Skiing the Ridge

Skiing Powder down Peak 2

Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bridal Veil Falls

Despite the fantastic skiing, I still wanted to do some ice climbing while I was in Valdez. Keystone canyon seemed like the best bet as the approaches are short and the ice was blue. So Ryan and I crossed the road and roshed for the lead at the base of Bridalveil falls..Ryan won.

Ryan was tired and not really paying much attention because he set the first belay a good 40 ft lower than the first belay my second pitch started out awkward, and the ice was slow and unconsolidated...the rope drag was awful, needless to say it wasn't the most enjoyable pitch I've led.

Ryan got to me and concurred that the ice quality was a little lacking. The Killer pillar looked wicked steep this year. Short, but the only line with any weakness also looked like the unconsolidated crap we had just climbed.

Below the Killer Pillar

Ryan didn't want it, and I wasn't feeling super motivated after the last pitch, so we bailed off.

In retrospect what had looked like awesome pick holes to the top were really large pockmarks made from clearing away bad ice....note to self: pick holes would be much smaller.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Skiing in Valdez

I can't remember ever seeing so much snow up in Thompson Pass and down in Valdez. Its definitely a better winter for skiing than climbing!

We parked off the road by the Worthington glacier and started up toward the mountains in the sun.

A little bit of clouds rolled in and out, but it was mostly a brilliant sunny day.

We toured to the top of a glacier then booted a short ways to the top of the peak.

We debated skiing the sunny south side, but in the end the light fluffy looking powder on the north face enticed us more. It was a fantastic run.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Caribou Creek

Ryan and I stopped and climbed Kids Corner on our way to was snowy out there too!

The Dead Moose after Pitch One

Pitch 2

Pitch 3
Posted by Picasa

Lots of people have climbed this route lately, it was picked out from top to bottom, no complaints though!