Sunday, October 28, 2012

Early Season Ice in Eagle River

Every time I come out here I get lost and so every time I remember the lost part, not the right way to go. This route is easily hidden and easily found, but no matter the obstacles its always worth it.  Ryan, Tonya and I started out and then Jon and Sue surprised us by coming out.

The first pitch was thin in places, open in others and in general early season conditions. I opted to use a rope and lead the pitch, super easy climbing, but interesting to see the water running through the clear ice.

Pitch One

There was literally just a dusting of snow and the gully up for the most part was frozen solid, definitely more interesting climbing than usual.

Tanya going up one of many small steps.

 The one big pitch on this route had a lot of ice on it, but also a lot of open sections and a scary looking top out.  No one was really feeling up to this being their first lead of the we with little pride set a top rope on it, and it was awesome!

There was no point in continuing up and there was an awesome walk off just to the right of the climb that a local showed us.  A short and gentle alder adventure led us back to the neighborhood.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Day of the Ice Season

Mad Dog hasn't come in this big in at least 10 years. We threw a rope down it and ran some laps.
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ridiculously Early Season Skiing

There was literally two inches of fresh snow on the road up to Hatcher Pass. Ryan is a ridiculously optimistic skier and wanted to carry his skis up to April Bowl, where he imagined much more snow. I decided to play along and count ski weight as better exercise.

Ryan with Independence Mine in the background

Walking the skis 

Yep we walked our skis all the way to the top of April Bowl, there was about a 2-6 inch "base" of wet snow that had frozen and was now very supportable...just not very deep.  We skied from the top dodging rocks poking through the thin crust, it definitely wasn't worthy of a second lap.  Then we took off our skis and walked back down.

At least the views didn't suck, I love looking over mountain ranges, Denali dominated the skyline.

Ryan and Me
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Monday, October 8, 2012

A Night Away at the Snowbird Hut

I just wanted a night of solitude in a beautiful place, and the fact that the Snowbird hut has a heater makes it my favorite place! The Archangel valley road was still open and completely clear of snow. I carried my skis about 1,800 feet up to the snow line but since there is a 4,000 ft gain to the pass I got to skin up a solid 2000 ft and across the glacier to the hut.

Looking down toward the Bartolff Valley

The views did not suck.
Peaks in the Mint Glacier Area

Frozen runnel lines on the Snowbird glacier looked completely unappealing for skiing in the morning.

 The Snowbird Hut was awesome as usual. 

I used my entire container of kerosene the first night and it made leaving the next day much easier.  The skiing down was thin but supportable while it lasted.

Looking down toward Palmer

 I feel lucky to live in such and beautiful place and have the time off to enjoy it.
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