AK LIVES UP TO THE HYPE!!!!!! Ski movie linesare not just getting watched on TV but are getting shredded by the Seawolfs. I have never not skied on thanksgiving so i was itching to go anywhere to ski. I had heard roomers that Turnagain Pass had some good snow. We had a fresh avi report report for the next morning saying everything was in the low with human hazards being the main concern.
I was able to rally Miranda, Sean, and Bella to get up at 5 and become a weekend warrior. We were able to leave Anchorage by 6 and were at the trailhead at 7:30. We geared up and headed out from the Tincan pull off around 8. It was still pitch black and very foggy. I was very excited to be in a new place bushwhacking up a mountain. For the first 30 minutes we had to kick steps up very difficult terrain. However we were able to get threw the gullies, rivers, marshes, and steep glades. Finally we reached decent snow and we could put the skins on. 30 more minutes in the trees put use right above tree line in time to watch an amazing sunrise. As soon as we got here he found out this was the main spot to ski on the pass, tracks everywhere! This is not colorado snow, lines down steep big bulls that would have easily slid if skied in colorado. Also there where so many tracks i couldn't count how many people had skied up there. Sure enough as soon as we saw all the tracks we heard people hooting and hollering coming up behind us. By the time we had gotten to Tincan proper there was easily 20 people above tree line. 6 inches of fresh, solid snow, two and half hour hike to the top, this is the spot to be! After enjoying a thanksgiving brew and the girls getting the mountain babe shot we geared up and dropped onto the west faces. UNREAL SNOW, 40 degree slope, boot top powder, on a solid bass for 1,000 vertical. After that we had a fun game of fallow the leader down the gladded trees all the way back to the car. We were back at the car at 11:30 and headed back to Anchorage to cook are 23 pound Turkey. All in all alaska backcountry is so much crazier then colorado, it is going to be an EPIC AREA FOR DA BUCKY UP HERE!
Its been a busy month to be a seawolf this month, but all is well. We started the month off by going to colorado for a 10 day ski trip, it was epic. When we were there it snowed three feet! We had some awesome training but some really fun free skiing. Seeing and skiing all the snow in colorado made the team fired up for winter back in AK. Even though it was 40 degrees and raining in Anchorage. So while the lower 48 is cold and snowing we are getting Hawaii's warm wet weather. We came back to AK and the mountains had less snow on them from before we had left . So it was time to put the skis away and get the hiking shoes back out.
IT IS SNOWING IN ANCHORAGE!!!!!!!! Called home yesterday and was so surprised to hear that is was 60 degrees and sunny, Loveland closed, and copper barely having enough snow to train on. But at the same time when I look at people skiing in the back country I feel like it is already going off, Petey skiing couloirs in Durange and Brain already having ski descents in the gore. Its going to be so hard see everyone sending it back home but so pumped for them and makes me fired up to come home and get after it. At the same time thought I have some great opportunities up here to ski way of the grid so I will not be coming home till spring.
Enough about all this stuff and more about the present. It snowed 7 inches on Monday and by Friday the white mountains where way to intriguing not to go explore them. With not much going on my Latvian team mate wanted to go be outside so I decided to show him how Bucky skis in the mountains. Miranda, Martins, and I took off to flattop for the afternoon. Miranda and Martins hiked up to take pictures, sled and hang out. It felt so good to put skis on and go uphill, I have missed it so much and am so fired up to ski here. It makes me feel more confident about my decision to come here for school and skiing. I thought I was going to be able to ski a gully on the East face that blow in with snow but i was wrong. We got half way up flattop and saw that the gully only had 12 inch in it and 2 MASSIVE MOOSE!!!! So skiing was sorta out of the picture, so why not make a urban session down some stairs on the summer trail.
SO MUCH FUN TO GET THE WIND IN MY FACE AND FLY THREW THE AIR! Had a fun jump session for about 30 mins and then it was down off the mountain for a beer and watch the first world cup race. This place is starting to warm up to me, I am really havin some fun up here and super stoked for this winter.
OOOOOOOO MID TERMS. School is starting to get tuff and stressful so what do u do...... go get lots in the mountains. With only one day off a week it is hard to get motivation to go hike mountains when you can hardly walk because you are so sore from work out but hey your young, dumb, and in collage, you go hard all the time! Stay up till 1, and get up 6, 6 hours of sleep your good to go. Best think about hiking in alaska is that late morning starts still feel like alpine starts. Its 8 o'clock and you are leaving the trailhead with your headlamp on. The sun places tricks with you all day, it feels like it either 8 in the morning or 6 at night no in-between. This was a quick hike but well needed. Also it was sweet to find a hut to ski to this winter, hopefully.
Quick overview of the beautiful day, leave anchorage 7 am, get to crow pass trailhead at 8:30, get to cabin at 10:30, crow pass 11:00, back to car 1:00, and back home to study at 2:30! It was so cool to hike in this area. It is a little bite of a drive from Anchorage but it is such a easy hike that puts you so deep and into the mountains really quick its well worth it. I was pumped to see a guy up skiing the 5 inch of fresh and was amazing to find out that he use to live in Breckenridge and we had some friends in common. Saw a few day hikers, some runners, and 2 others headed into go ski for a few days. SUCH A BAD ASS PLACE CANT WAIT TO VISIT IT MORE AND IN THE WINTER!!!
Well today was a tough day mentally and physically. Henry had the day off and we wanted to ski something in the gore. We started to look at weather and temperatures, none of it looked promising, rain, snow, and barely freezing. We knew it was going freeze around 10,000 feet so we had to go deep and high. My friend nick had showed me this line on a TGR forum, a guy skied this line in May 2008. We thought "great plenty of snow only worry will be if it freezes". We started at 6:30 in shoes, hiked for an hour, then switched to skins. We lost the summer trail but if you hug the east side of the basin it is pretty smooth going (gore standers, good bush whack for other standers). We noticed as we hiked in that the snow was very variable and we would have to really play it safe. We skinned for another hour and a half and finally got the base of the line! After skinning in the rain, snow and fog we looked up and saw that the hole line had slid, it was full of chucks of snow the size of a fiat 500's. Good thing we didn't set off the avalanche but heart breaking that we could not ski it. About half way up the line it does a dog leg, we decided to kick steps up to the dog leg and see if we could ski the upper part. No need to worry about bad snow, it was rock hard. Once we got the the dog leg more bad news, there was debris all the way to the top of the line.
Well as much as I wanted to bag this line, skiing down bowling balls for 2,000 vertical feet was not really what I or Henry wanted to do. We geared up, side slipped down the side of the couloir to the bottom and had 8 turns down the apron. We saw a little gully that led to the west side of the valley and decided to go explore. We looked down the gully and saw that it ended up in a water fall and opted to skip it and stay dry. We worked are way around it and found are self's on the west side of the valley, WRONG SIDE. Stay to the east side, the west is full of creeks and hills. After an hour of hiking around the west side of the valley we ran out of snow and got ready for the walk out. Five hours later we were back at the car, 8 miles, 3,500 vertical, and 8 turns, HELL OF A DAY!!!! Good thing I love adventures and love having the blessing of being in the mountains or today could have been a bust!
I singed onto my Facebook two days ago and saw that my friend Justin had shredded the north couloir of Pacific in epic conditions. Normally if I saw that some one else had just shredded a line I would want to go somewhere else but this was North Couloir on Pacific. I have grown up looking at this Peak my hole life. I saw the couloir three years ago for the first time and I told myself "I have to ski that one day." I was able to messaged Justin and get the scoop on the snow pack. I called up my buddies Peter and Nick and asked if they wanted to go, BOYA they where in! Since Peter was driving all the way from Durango and Nick from Boulder I looked into beefing up the day with another ski descent of Crystals north face, definitely worth it!
After an awesome ski we where at the bass of crystal and started to gear up for another climb. We kicked steps about half way up Crystals south face and then switched to skins because it flattens out and the snow was starting to get warm. We don't know how long it took to get up crystal but we topped out just before noon. The skiing off of the top of Crystal is awesome big open face skiing into some tight chokes. We had no beta on this route so we took it nice and slow and finally found that the fourth gully on skiers left is the only one that went top to bottom, this year. The choke was a little rocky but it made for a fun challenge! We then skied the drainage all the way back to highway 91. We were to tired to walk the old railroad grade back to the highway, we braved a river crossing, climb up the snow bank to the road, and walked the highway back to are car we left at the bottom of the Fremont grade. This is a really awesome way to get two epic ski descents in one day! 5,000 vert of skiing, 4,000 vert of hiking, and only 8 miles round trip!