Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I'm not leaving anytime soon

What a weekend. I don't know where to start. Bagging my first two birds at Fuller Lake on Thursday, blowing myself out in "too much snow" at Rainbow lake on the skinny skis Friday, maybe cutting my first knee deep backcountry Alaska lines in Turnagin Pass Saturday or eating those two birds Sunday evening and concluding that they were by far the best pieces of meat I have ever consumed, hands down.

Ahh just forget it and enjoy some pictures, I don't have the energy or the time now. I already posted pics from hunting.

Friday I went up to the Upper Russian Lake Trailhead at Cooper Lake hoping to do an xc ski. I got up to elevation to find 14-18 inches of untracked powder. My legs, still weary from bushwhacking and roaming Fuller Lakes the day before, were less than excited about sklogging all afternoon. I went a bit back down the road to Rainbow lake, where some snowmachiners had poached a track out to the lake. I thankfully mooched off their tracks for a while, skiing around the outskirts of the lake.










I decided I ought to take it easy and rest my legs up for Saturday. Back at the lodge, I made myself a cup of hot chocolate and fired up the iron. My shirts lay piled in a heap in the corner of my room, but out in the arctic entryway, the base of my board was getting some desperately needed heat treatment. The avalanche forecasts had settled a bit and I was heading to Turnagin Pass (turny) to get on the fat plank.

Saturday I awoke early to overcast skies. Around 11 I pulled into the roadside pull off below an area called Tincan. Over a dozen cars squeezed up against the guardrail, and a broken line of skiers and boarders trekked across the meadow into the trees. I'd come alone, but a short ways up I found myself hiking up with Josh, Ethan and Brian from Anchorage. The three were happy to let me tag along with them and show me what the area had to offer. I was super appreciative to say the least, as once above treeline, the up track split and I had no idea where to go. We skied the "trees" which was more like, clusters of trees in wide open space, but they offered protection and better visibility. I was estatic drooping into the dry fine powder, launching off a 4-5 foot windlip less than half way through my first run.
The clouds continually drifting through the pass made picture taking dismal, but check out the videos. Some other skiers finish out a run

Looking across the pass at the low cloud cover.

videoJosh whoops it up on lower Tincan
videoSkier chick drops a wind lip

I don't think I've ever taken pictures driving through Turnagin or Summit Pass on the Seward Highway. In fact, I've done a generally lousy job of taking any pictures on the road. Well, here's a few. Now you can pretend you're driving two of the most beautiful highways in the world through a polar solstice sunset.






This twin ridged peak with its cradle bowl is one of my favorite along the drive










The teal waters of Kenai Lake remain unfrozen

With only a month to go before we hit the solstice, the snow piling up, the weather generally cooperating and things going along well enough at work, I'm starting to find myself convinced, that this is a lifestyle I may adopt for more than just a swing around the sun...

1 comment:

McConnell "Macky" Franklin said...

Man, that looks amazing! Ski the pow for me...I'm living in the sun!