Temptation Peak
Posted in Chugach Range & Trekking    Tags: frontrange  

In case you don't remember, we had a pretty awful summer this year: 30 days straight of rain and gloomy weather. Climbing plans were pretty much shelved in exchange for boating, fishing and a short quick jaunt up Flattop in-between and during showers.

So when the forecast called for somewhat reasonably clear and sunny skies we opted to hike in and try Temptation Peak. Temptation is one of the 12 5000' peaks in the Chugach Front Range and was the last 5000' Front Range peak left on Yvonne's list (I still have 2 to go).

We packed a water bottle, bear spray, a couple bars and rain jackets and then began the slog up Snow Hawk Valley trail. The Snow Hawk trail has seen better days. At one time it was well cleared and easy walking. It's now the standard Chugach trail – meaning it's all of a foot wide with devil's club and cow parsnip towering over your head. And to add to the excitement every 50 feet you come across a pile of steaming bear dung.   ( Read more... )

Gulkana River
Trip Date: 07/01/10 - 07/05/10   Posted in Alaska Range & Boating    Tags: family  

Summer in Alaska is for family visitors.  Some years no one shows up… Other years they show up in mass – a week here, a week there.  Sometimes 2 weeks. Sometimes 3 weeks… sometimes more.  Not that I’m complaining… when family visits it’s a chance to show them how you live.  And how you live might mean a long rafting trip in torrential rain, a lazy day floating the Kenai without any sign of fish or a brutal slog through dense brush in the middle of Chugach State Park. And even if that summer visitor isn’t ready for what you’re about to give them (like endless fishing in torrential rains) – it really doesn’t matter.  We’ve got all of 3 months to pack in a summer (even if that summer is 35 degrees and raining) and the summer visitor is along for the ride whether they like it or not!

So when my brother Charlie and his wife, Liz, showed up we automatically piled them back into the truck and forced them to drive 5 hours north towards the eastern Alaskan Range where we spent 5 days fishing and floating the Gulkana River.   ( Read more... )

Halibut Fun
Posted in Kenai Range & Fishing   

Drove South to Homer (5 hours) for some halibut fishing this weekend. We went with our friend Becky who has a house and boat down there. Left friday night and by 11ish saturday morning we were uploading the skiff into Kachemak Bay.

Weather was kind of iffy at the put in -- foggy, a slight breeze and seas around 2 feet. By the we motored out of the harbor and into the bay we were questioning our decision. Of course once you've started you can turn around without at least a peek -- so on we continued. And as we motored west the weather improved and soon it was partly sunny with steady seas around 1-2 feet. We were in a 21' skiff; open in the back with a plastic cover in front -- and we were relatively comfortable. Anyway's - we motored for about an hour and about 20 miles out. Our first stop was about 1/2 mile off shore; we dropped in anchor in 50' of water and within a few minutes we were pulling up Irish Lords -- a blood red fish that grows to about a foot long and is covered with spines. Apparently the spines have a mild poison in them so we were very careful as we removed them and tossed them back. After about 45 minutes of fishing all we had caught were 7 Irish Lords and no halibut so we pulled anchor and headed further out.   ( Read more... )

Chulitna River - in Fall & Spring
Trip Date: 05/29/10 - 05/31/10   Posted in Alaska Range & Boating   

Birch turning - Upper River Fall 2008

Lingering snow - Upper River Spring 2010

Images from two floats down the Chulitna River - Fall 2008 and Spring 2010.   ( Read more... )

Accident on Freezy Nuts
Posted in Alaska Range & Mountaineering    Tags: accidents, ruth  

We floated the Chulitna River over the long weekend… hot and sunny and with glorious views of the Alaska Range towering above the river. The mercury climbed to 80 degrees and we drifted down river in shorts and t-shirts. On Sunday night we camped on a gravel bar with the summits of Denali and Mooses Tooth jutting above the clouds. The view from my sleeping bag serene when I unzipped the tent and looked out to see the faint morning light at 3:30am turning the peaks a deep pink. When you're on a gravel bar in the sun the mountains look so peaceful and pleasant…

And then back to Anchorage and the working life. I check my email to see a string from random people I don't know. And then I check the news; 2 dead in an avalanche in the Ruth Gorge: Andrew Herzenberg, age 39, and Avner Magen, age 42 - both from Toronto, Ontario. I read the NPS report… they were killed while descending Freezy Nuts on Saturday, May 30th.

Bryce Stath on "Freezy Nuts" - Spring 2009.

A little later I read the string of emails and make the connection… I had been corresponding with Avner Magen for a few weeks and now friends and family were asking if I had any news.   ( Read more... )

Pastoral & Grandaddys
Posted in Kenai Range & Skiing    Tags: turnagain  

On Saturday Todd and I went in and skied Graddaddys.  We weren't able to ski the North couloir (which we were hoping for) due to a huge crown and icey slopes... but it was a beautiful day! 

    ( Read more... )

Mooses Tooth
Trip Date: 05/06/10 - 05/10/10   Posted in Alaska Range & Mountaineering    Tags: ruth  

Video from our climb of Ham and Eggs in May 2010. More pix of the route here.

Aconcagua's Polish Direct - Part I (Getting there)
Trip Date: 01/05/10 - 01/10/10   Posted in Argentina & Mountaineering    Tags: aconcagua  

Aconcagua's Polish Glacier... Part 1 of 4.   ( Read more... )

Aconcagua's Polish Direct - Part II (Base Camp to Camp II)
Trip Date: 01/10/10 - 01/19/10   Posted in Argentina & Mountaineering    Tags: aconcagua  

Aconcagua's Polish Glacier... Part 2 of 4.   ( Read more... )

Aconcagua's Polish Glacier... Part 3 of 4.   ( Read more... )

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