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In late April 2019, Todd Kelsey, Joe Chmielowski and I skied from the Eagle Glacier to the Nature Center (ERNC). It was a great ski trip through familiar terrain that felt foreign when covered in snow.  All together it was 50 miles of travel (38 miles on skis) with 11K of elevation gain/loss. We took […]  [ Read More ]
Pleasant Mountain lies near the head of Ram valley and is the peak just due north of Bombardment Pass. It was first climbed in June 1960 by Norm Pischler, Louis Willard and Erma Duncan (route unknown) who named the peak claiming that the hike made for a pleasant afternoon.  Greg Higgens, Peter Sennhauser and Ted […]  [ Read More ]
These photos are from a 5-day ski mountaineering trip on the Finch and Eagle glaciers in the Western Chugach / Chugach State Park. This exact Chugach State Park trip has been done by a few other parties so logistics have been dialed in which makes for easy planning. Basically, you charter an Alpine Air helicopter drop to the Chugach State Park boundary (no landings allowed in the park) on the Finch Glacier and then work your way back via the Finch / Eagle col to MCA hut on the Eagle (Rosie’s Roost) and then out to Crow Pass via either Raven Headwall or Goat Ridge.  [ Read More ]
A spectacular peak from all directions, Rook Mountain lies North and 2000' above Raven Glacier. There is no easy route to the summit which makes it a worthy objective that you must plan for in terms of weather, conditions and route. It's a mountain I've been staring at for 10+ years waiting for the right combination of good snow conditions and solid partners and I've spent many a day walking or skiing past, looking up and waiting.  [ Read More ]
Skiing  |  Kenai Range
Feb 1, 2015
After months of none of the above the magic combination of sun, snow and stability finally settled over Southcentral Alaska. A mid January storm deposited enough snow to finally ski from the road. The storm was followed by high pressure and cold which was finally followed by a warming trend that made long days feasible […]  [ Read More ]
Ptarmigan North (not “S”) Couloir. Photo by Eric Parsons. Sunday was one of those perfect days so we played the parent switch game. Yvonne got first shift and she opted to go run up Bird Ridge in the sun. She texted me just before noon that she was on top and on her way down […]  [ Read More ]
We set out to tour the valley around Pinnacle with the hopes of skiing something interesting. Checking out conditions on the approach we noted two large natural releases that had occurred sometime midweek on the SW face of Marmot and the occasional crown in steeper terrain that appeared to be have either released during or shortly after the most recent storm cycle. Taking the obvious signs into account we then studied the tracks on pretty much every aspect and angle and noted that had minimal releasing other than occasional sluffing.  [ Read More ]
First a little history: Due to the prominence rule, Icicle Peak was left off the actual list of Chugach high-points… yet it still made the list of 7,000′ peaks. The prominence rule states that a peak isn’t a true peak unless more than 500′ of prominence separates the peak from surrounding peaks. Apparently you couldn’t […]  [ 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 […]  [ Read More ]
Skiing  |  Chugach Range
Apr 20, 2013
I’m a bit of a nomenclature geek. I eat up stories about how peaks and routes got their name. Take Cornbiscuit for example. Whoever came up with that name? Turns out the name came from two people who used to ski it all the time back in the late 80s / early 90s. Two French […]  [ Read More ]
We knew conditions last week were good on the south side, so up Falls Creek mid-morning Friday. The bottom was melted out, so booting until just below treeline. Then a band of rotten isothermal snow (even before the sun had hit the valley floor) until finally solid crust and skins. We toured up valley stopping […]  [ Read More ]
Skiing  |  Chugach Range
Apr 4, 2013
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. And repeat we did. Turnagain on Saturday, Peak 3 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. South side couloirs on Thursday and Friday. 6 days of skiing in a week for a […]  [ Read More ]
Peter above the Arm Amy above the Arm Scott above the Arm Peter & Amy 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 […]  [ Read More ]
Skiing  |  Kenai Range
Mar 13, 2013
Bertha Creek Highway 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 […]  [ Read More ]
Pete & Amy inside the ping pong ball. Sun, snow and stability in Hatcher. Three things that never happen in those mountains north of town that I tend to write off just about every winter. I love Hatcher in the summer- cragging, trekking, crumbling granite ridges – good clean alpine fun. But Hatcher in the […]  [ Read More ]
Skiing  |  Canadian Rockies
Apr 22, 2012
The wind was howling, snow was swirling and visibility had been reduced to about 10 feet. A pure whiteout. The kind where you can’t tell up from down and left from right. Stop skiing and look down at your skis and it feels like the ground is moving underneath you. Vertigo takes control and the […]  [ Read More ]
What is a forecast? When the ave center gives you a green light, how does it affect your motives and goals for the day? That was the discussion of the day as we skinned up valley under crystal blue skies with what appeared to be a stellar snowpack. We had a big line in mind […]  [ Read More ]
Your world is getting smaller. Like it or not, there are more people skiing the lines you like to ski. Head down to Turnagain on a powder day and it can be hard to find fresh tracks. Try and ski a peak close to the road 5 days after a storm and the chances of […]  [ Read More ]
Skiing  |  Chugach Range
Apr 15, 2011
Bomb weather forecast and spring temps made me get the climbing itch so I asked around and finally rounded up a group. Our plan was to head up McRoberts Creek, traverse over Matanuska Peak and then attempt the Northwest Couloir of Frontier Peak. A big climb, a big approach – and as a result our […]  [ Read More ]
The first storm came on Tuesday; a foot of low-density powder with only a hint of wind. The snow was to make the skiing very enjoyable, but it was also enough to cancel the week of skiing that I had planned with Todd. We enjoyed the resort and enjoyed an after work run on Peak […]  [ Read More ]