Nope. Still not snowing up here in Alaska. The rain has stopped and the sun is shining. At least it's cold. What snow is left is staying put...for now. Most locals say they can't remember a skiers' winter this grim. Many have given up and have taken the mountain bikes out. The Nordic trail grooming crew is trying to work magic turning water ice into skiable snow. So far, it's working. For ski mountaineers, we're not going down without a fight. The coverage is there, if not the quality. You just have to be willing to walk to it. This past weekend, Mat (Anchorage Avalanche Center) and I did just that.
Entries in Chugach (9)
Talk about procrastination. I’ve been putting off finishing this post for a month now. Guess I’ve gotten lazy after the ski season. Well, here it is finally.
That’s probably it. My ski season likely ended on Solstice weekend with a couple of fun trips up and down the S Couloir on Ptarmigan Peak in the Chugach Front Range above Anchorage. It’s one of the first things I skied when I moved here and continues to be a favorite of mine due to the ease of access and scope of the line. Never ceases to amaze me that this big north face is 45 minutes from the car.
Last weekend I got out for one of Anchorage, Alaska’s classic ski tours – the Arctic to Indian traverse. This 20 mile, relatively flat excursion through the heart of the Chugach Front Range is a must-do event for many each spring. Most people wait for longer days and a beat-in track before taking it on. It can be done in as little as 4 hours but it takes many the full day to complete.
Winter is taking it’s sweet time getting here, even here in Alaska. The powder day I had under blue skies two weeks ago was just a tease. I went back to Crow Pass last Sunday for a tour on an adjacent glacier, the Milk, but the snow was hammered. Still, seeing that terrain was cool even if the run down was survival skiing.
We wait all summer and fall for them – those first turns of the year. Temperatures cool and we watch the hills after every storm to see what they call in Alaska, “Termination Dust”. Kinda funny. Well, the dust has been plentiful and, truth be told, first turns were had by many following a storm on September 31st.