Layers, rain, renovations, life changes and work have kept me from getting out too much but the light is finally starting to return and with it my motivation for longer days. So on sunday Jake and I headed out to climb 3 Ring Circus. The ice was in terrible shape (mongo dinner plates with every swing) but temps in the mid-20s and light until 5pm made for a good long day. We climbed 800' in 5 pitches and then bailed off manky alder anchors to reach the ground just as it got dark. A good long day and a beautiful hike out Eagle River in the dark.
A good day in Hatcher with friends, sun, snow and stability. The magic combination. ( Read more... )
Heavy snow and low visibility kept us close to home searching for treed slopes untouched by wind. Surprisingly enough we found both and spent the day meadow skipping yellow slopes. The only thing we found above treeline was vertigo so we kept the runs short and had fun picking our way through the alders. Sun crust is forming on SW slopes and obvious wind lips have formed on rollovers making terrain traps not an option, but NW slopes were holding knee deep dreamy powder. Todd was in his element and schooled us all on how to ski tight alder runs gracefully. Scott schooled us on how to properly raise a ski dog, even if the dog does hail from Taiwan. I schooled them on how bash through trees helmet first and fall properly. I'll apologize upfront for another Garcia tune. Sometimes I get in a rut.
Peter above the Arm
Sun, snow and stability continues to linger in Southcentral Alaska, so we chose a steep up-track that we normally wouldn’t touch due to exposure from above. We tromped up the steep tree covered ridge topping out on a sharp ridgeline 3000’ above the Arm. Then across the subpeak searching for powder until finally having to remove skis and downclimb 500’ of rock and tundra to a protected bowl with boot deep powder. ( Read more... )
Photo by Eric Parsons.
Tis the season for post-work couloir skiing. Get up early, work till 3 or 4, ski hard till 7 or 8. Eat, sleep, and repeat. ( Read more... )
Todd exiting Falls Lake Couloir.
Falls Lake couloir looked beautiful and untouched. So up and up the perfect splitter couloir to the ridge. Then down boot deep powder and heavy sluff to the valley floor and sun. ( Read more... )
Every now and then we get that long period of high pressure where everything rocks. The temps are decent, the snow is beautiful, stability is good. Then the winds come and everything goes to hell. Windslab creeps across the ridgetops and where there isn't windslab there's pure ice. Runs look good from afar but once you're in them you start actually thinking about things like home projects and ice climbing.
With sun and high temps in mind Jake and I set out to try the NW Ridge of Williwaw. We tromped up and over the Ballfield, dropped down next to Williwaw Lake and then trudged up the scree pile that is at the base of the NW Ridge. Then up the steep and exposed NW ridge to the summit of Williwaw.
Read more for additional pictures and a ridiculously detailed route description. ( Read more... )