Sunday, November 29, 2009

In the last week several big storms have come through and dumped quite a bit of snow in the mountains. To illustrate, I suggest you watch the videos on the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center Web site. (LINK) You will be impressed, I promise.
Turnagain Pass has picked up close to 5 feet of new snow in the last week on top of a worthless base. Thirty inches of that fell in a 12 + hour window Thanksgiving night.
As is visible in the tests, it takes a fair amount of force to get a big slab to go, but, if it does, it'll go straight to the ground.
Suffice to say that while all the new snow is certainly welcome, combined with poor road conditions, I didn't make it to the mountains this weekend to enjoy any of the fresh stuff.
Depressingly, hardly any snow fell in the central peninsula over the course of the week. It actually rained on Monday ruining the great early season crust we had. Things came back on Wednesday night at least in Sterling when two inches of heavy wet snow came down making for a great night ski in white out conditions on the Moose River.
The Thanksgiving storm the next night dropped 4-5 inches in Sterling, a little less in Soldotna, meaning open season on skate skiing was out, but not leaving quite enough to groom the trails. I did a nice classic ski on Headquarters Lake with Kjell; my hipflexors weren't too impressed, but I was reminded I can't forget the "other" technique.
Anyway that's sort of where things are at. The fresh snow compressed enough to make it possible to skate ski Headquarters lake on Saturday even without grooming, but it snowed another two inches in Sterling today so my new favorite destination, the Moose, remains nothing but a powdery tip catching slog.
The trails, though thin, have been rolled out, and once I get a new pair of bindings on my rock skis perhaps they'll be skiable.
I have to say I feel a little bitter towards the Kenai gods right now.
All the same, I suppose I should be thankful for what I've got, the lake skiing should continue to be descent.
The fact is, right now, the biggest two concerns in my life is a. where will I ski after work, and b. where will I ski or board this weekend?
Not bad.

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