Monday, April 24, 2006

No Pastoral but trail running begins in earnest.

The kingdom of Pastoral in all its glory
(this is as close as we have ever gotten)

Going to Pastoral is starting to feel like the search for the Lost Kingdom of Prester John - Andrea and I made plans to head up to Pastoral this Saturday with Rich, Chester, Teeny, and Ray but weather coming in Friday night and into Saturday morning changed those plans. Storms rolled across the Kenai Penninsula all night resulting in poor visibility and unstable snow throughout the Turnagain area. Alas, no Pastoral.

Checking conditions around Turnagain Arm on Saturday morning - we were surprised to see Alyeska was reporting 27 inches of new snow overnight! Wow - after cross-verifying via all possible channels (i.e. thinking a lot about how this could possibly be a typo on the website), we resolved to head to Alyeska and leave Pastoral (sigh) for another day.

The skiing was great but the snow was HEAVY - perhaps Andrea will post on her impressions of skiing Chugach Cement for the first time. The technique in this soupy snow is go as fast as possible and then fully commit to large radius turns - needless to say, explosive crashed abounded.

Sunday Chester and Andrea and I began summer trail running training in earnest. We ran the length of the Turnagain Arm Trail from Windy Corner to Potter Marsh - 9.3 miles total. None of us was feeling particularly fast (total time 1:58) but it was nice to start getting some miles in the legs. The trail was in great shape - mostly dry, some lingering snow and patches of mud - and, with temperatures in the 50s and the sun out over the water, our spirits were high.

Turnagain Pass and the front range of the Chugach behind Anchorage are still getting hammered with storms - the Hillside received a dusting again last night - so the BC skiing will be good long after we have moved on to summer sports but NEXT WEEKEND (I tremble as I write this) we are skiing Pastoral.


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