The anticipation of winter is always an oddly stressful time for me. I used not give it much thought as winter always came and the skiing commenced. But that was before whatever is going on now. Global warming? Natural cycles? Depending upon your political leanings, you can choose your explanation. But the bottom line is that winter has been fickle and elusive the past few years. Each year I'd say, "....well, it can't be any worse than last year...." and then it is. Gives me heart burn. Fortunately, this season seems to be shaping up in a more positive way.
Recently, a good friend of mine decided to finally upgrade his ski set up after many years on a pair of early carbon fiber Dynafit skis. He’s the kind of guy who can ski on anything and he just didn’t see the point of getting something new. But, I finally convinced him that there’s more fun waiting to be had with modern boards so he relented. I mean, who doesn’t want to have more fun?
I guess it was bound to happen. Shit, I’ve lasted longer than many of my peers. But, at some point in many athletes’ lives, real injury happens and the consequences have to be navigated. This is my injury story.
It's hard to complain about fresh powder in September so I won't. It's not uncommon for the first snows to come early in AK. The summer ends fast here and fall seems short. The remnants of a Japanese cyclone sent some wet weather our way and dumped some lovely snow up high. The weekend forecast cooperated so Karol and I went and sampled the loveliness. We were not disappointed.
The arrival of snow in the high mountains of South Central Alaska is eminent but Karol, Jen and I managed to tag one of the area’s classic ridge traverses recently, sneaking a good one in before snow closes the door on running up high. Girdwood to Indian via the high ridgeline that looms above the Seward Highway spanning between California Creek to the South and Penguin Peak to the North is one of the best outings found here. Roman Dial, no stranger to Alaskan adventure, calls it THE best ridge traverse he’s done. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But it’s been on our lists for a while and we were psyched to have a look.