My OCD is good for 3 things. It keeps the house free of dog hair, it allows me to slave away for 30 hours on 200 lines of complex code and it can break long meandering conversations into concise bulleted talking points. The latter is a great trait for board meetings that go on for three hours and ski tour conversations that go on for three days. And so after a few tours where we talked about the same things I decided to put together my ski tour talking points. But a disclaimer is needed before anything. I am not a professional. Never have been, never will be. So take this rambling post for what it is... Lessons and notes from some climber and skier who can rehash lessons learned because of luck and not much else. ( 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... )
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... )
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... )
We went south seeking sun, snow and stability. Out the car in fringed temps and up Bertha Creek to Granddaddy, which we knew was in. The north ridge of Granddaddy was wind blasted rime ice with constant 25mph winds beating us as we climbed. Then off the top and down onto the frozen blob of rime ice that serves as a spotting stance. ( 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.
A good day in Hatcher with friends, sun, snow and stability. The magic combination. ( Read more... )
Ripple. How many times have you climbed it? Once a season? Twice a season? Three times? For the past two years? For the past five years? 10 years? If you're a southcentral ice climber it's that route that you do at least once a year. It's close, it's always in, and it's always enjoyable. ( Read more... )
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.