We got there easy enough: 7 hours to our base camp at Blue Eyed Lake through devils club, cow parsnip and fireweed that towered over the head, muddy steep alder tunnels and up and down 2000' of scree and snow to a secluded lake where we got some much needed sleep. Then up and over Inferno Pass which lies tucked into the shadow of Devils Mistress, down the West Fork of the Eklutna, curling around to a final glacier headwall full of crevasses that we kept punching though, up a steep loose rock gully that shed torso size boulders with little effort, and up steep scree until we were finally standing on a platform looking at a buttress of rock that was not going to let us easily pass. ( Read more... )
Suicide Tour! From the Indian trailhead up Powerline trail to the east slopes of Homicide. Across to the base of the NE couloir of North Suicide. Up the NE couloir to the top of North Suicide, down to Windy Gap, up South Suicide, down Falls Creek and a hitchhike down the Seward highway.
Steep snow, some rock, lots of choss and lots of scree slogging. ( Read more... )
10 hours before the party and 24 hours before the doctor, Todd and I were walking up a valley with skis and boots strapped to our backs. We walked 5 miles before we transitioned to skis and even then we only got to ski at most 2 miles before transitioning back to boots. We were at the top of the run around noon and collapsed in the 70-degree sun. The snow on southern aspects had already gone completely isothermal and Anchorage lay covered in a thick coat of Chinese smog. ( Read more... )
Ptarmigan North Couloir. Photo by Eric Parsons.
Sunday was one of those perfect days ... ( Read more... )
It was the winter of '98 and I had already been in Alaska for two years when I finally decided it was time to learn to ski. I bought skis, boots, bindings - the whole package - and I started the weekend pilgrimage to Turnagain Pass. 15+ years ago the Pass was a different place. There were all of 30 skiers who frequented the place and everyone knew everyone. I started showing up and within a few weeks the long time cadre of local skiers took me under their collective wings. ( Read more... )
...then the fun started. What in May had been a simple skin now required a traverse across a shifting groaning rock glacier. The traverse started with a jog across the Bellicose/Benign gully to a safe-enough zone where we transitioned from sneakers to mountain boots. Then up and across the rock glacier which consisted of glacier ice covered with mud and rock that shifted with every step. It should be mentioned that above the rock glacier is wall of loose rock that is routinely shedding the ubiquitous microwave-sized block... ( Read more... )
Read more for additional pictures and a ridiculously detailed route description. ( Read more... )
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.
Icicle Peak route profiles and pictures. ( Read more... )
Ignoring tradition, history and local ethics we vow to rename this route. From henceforth it will be called Thin White Mank. ( Read more... )