Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sunburst on President's Day

Chester, Duffy, and I headed up to Sunburst on President's Day. The Sven Johansson ski race was cancelled the day before so Chester and I had energy to burn on the track up. The conditions were great: the same soft layer of snow over crust we had encountered on Tincan on Saturday. The snow was extremely stable; we dug a pit at around 2900' on a SW aspect and could not get the shovel test to fail after numerous poundings. Chester actually commented that his hand was starting to hurt! Things are looking good for March!

And coming up this weekend, the ski train to Grandview.

Thanks to Teeny for the shot of Emerson and me heading down the mountain.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tincan Satellite Route

I kept the GPS on for a ski tour of Tincan today, then downloaded the data to GPS Trackmaker, which allows you to see the route in Google Earth. Here is the result of one "lap" on Tincan. Pretty cool! The snow above 2000' or so was absolutely excellent: 5-6" of fluffy light snow on top of a firm crust - really fast!

Monday, February 13, 2006

AKBC on Aspect Journal

One of the pictures from our December avalanche class is featured on the opening page of this month's Aspect Journal! Check it out.

Lines to ski, stories to tell.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Snowshoer killed near Flattop

ADN is reporting today that a snowshoer was killed in Boy Scout Gully on Flattop Mountain here in Anchorage.

Flattop is one of the most frequently climbed peaks in Alaska and affords easy access to great views and good excercise. Unfortunately, it is also in the foothills of the Chugach, which are notorious for dangerous avalanche conditions in low snow years such as this one. Flattop has seen its share of avalanche accidents -- I remember in highschool my friends set a slide off in the same area while snowboarding. They were thankfully unharmed but it was a good reminder that up here, wilderness (and the dangers associated with it), is always right next to you.

Monday, February 06, 2006


After three weekends in the backcountry, it was nice to do some lift-serviced skiing again. Andrea and I spent the morning at Alyeska with Daniel and Jon. After so much time in untracked, low-angle snow, it was nice to get some steeps again but the tracks! Ugh, you really get spoiled in the backcountry. Actually, probably the best runs of the day were on the piste -- the groomers laid out some nice corduroy that stayed grippy and fast all day.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Bob Eastaugh had a law clerks' ski race that afternoon so we headed to Chair 3 to bash some gates just as the wind was picking up at the top.

Thanks to Jon Bolton for the pics, more to follow.