Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Peak 3 last hurrah

Last night Chester and I bid adieu to our old Tuesday night mistress, Peak 3. She may be lacking the snow she did a few months ago but she was up to her old wily tricks and took it out of our hides both going up and coming down.

That mountain never seems to get easier to skin up and last night was no exception - there was plenty of wind-blown hardpan and soft blown sugar to make every step a fight. At least it wasn't windy. (Well, at least it wasn't super windy)

A storm was rolling across the Kenai Peninsula and big black clouds began to obscure the sun. But golden sunlight broke through the clouds over the Tordrillos across the inlet and gave them an otherworldly glow. As usual, Peak 3 rewarded us for our hard-work with a stunning view. Looking over the city reminded us that we were really lucky to have this mountain this close.

Then the descent. The snow was soft and deep but there were multiple layers of crust that made every turn an adventure. By the time we reached the bottom, it had become true adventure skiing. We couldn't reach the car on skis (although I tried, ski-walking across a short section of tundra) and were reduced to walking the final meters.

Chester commented that perhaps we should have taken the day two weeks ago when we went up with Nate and the conditions were perfect as our final day just to leave on a good note. I agree with that sentiment - perhaps one more go before ALL the snow melts?


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