On skiing and stiches
Posted in Chugach Range & Skiing    Tags: frontrange  

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... )

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... )

Squamish Bob
Trip Date: 07/10/99 - 07/17/99   Posted in Coastal Range & Rock Climbing    Tags: 99roadtrip  

The gift was causing me to slip away. Bob had given us a look into the life of a dreamer who had abandoned all to live in the present. This is the life he was offering - a life outside of the dull realities of work, taxes, family and debt. A life where the days blend into one, where the only reality is the present and the voices calling out from your past are bottled, buried and forgotten. A life alone where the realm of caring is pushed into a forgotten zone and the only thing that matters is the next sunny spell when you can escape into the mountains, your passion inching upwards while tethered to the earth with a thin rope...   ( Read more... )

Ptarmigan North Couloir. Photo by Eric Parsons.

Sunday was one of those perfect days ...   ( Read more... )

Pinnacle Tour
Posted in Talkeetna Range & Skiing    Tags: avalanche, hatcher  

A few seconds later he rolled out of view and I slid into the couloir so I could spot; not 2 seconds later I heard the deep whumpf of collapsing snow. Instantly alert, I looked down to see a powder cloud shooting out into the valley...   ( Read more... )

Devil's Tower
Posted in Wyoming & Rock Climbing   

...Beyond The Man's hat 1200' of rock intruded into the dawn sky. The sun was just beginning to rise and the east face turning blood red and we lay in the dirt and watched the shadows drip...   ( Read more... )

Roadtrip to Alaska
Trip Date: 11/09/13 - 11/10/13   Posted in Wrangell Mountains & Ice Climbing   

Jake on the first pitch of the season.

"Anchorage is great," they say. "It's only 20 minutes from Alaska." By they I mean the red state rural minority who believe in the Three Ps: the Permanent Fund, Providence and Palin. As much as I hate the saying they have a point. 20 minutes from Spenard, strip clubs and Sams Club you can hit the park and head east for 400 miles before you hit another road. And most of the year I manage to get out of Anchorage and enjoy Alaska on a regular basis, but the fall is different. Fall in Anchorage means foul weather; freezing rain, sun and snow all in the same week.   ( Read more... )

Ram to Eklunta
Trip Date: 09/11/10 - 09/12/10   Posted in Chugach Range & Trekking    Tags: access, eklutna, peters, ram  

On Thunderbird Ridge

These are old pictures from a trip that Yvonne, Eric and I did on September 11-12, 2010. I put up a video a couple years ago but never edited the photos, but since it's been an Eklutna summer I decided to go through them and post some of the better ones.   ( Read more... )

W. Ridge of Bashful as seen from Thunderbird Peak

Read more for additional pictures and a ridiculously detailed route description.   ( Read more... )

Accessing the Eklutna Glacier
Posted in Chugach Range & Mountaineering    Tags: eklutna  

Eric approaching the Eklutna July 2013. Note the rock glacier and gully.

...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... )

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