Sunday, May 20, 2012

Up High

Common wisdom would say that winter is over.
Common wisdom would say that it's time to hit the springtime Kenai single track.
Common wisdom would say the only powder you'll find in the coastal mountain ranges is ground rock or likely illegal.

Common wisdom need not apply.

On May 18, a date I've associated with the first ride on lower Resurrection Pass Trail the last three years, Jack and I skied powder above 3,000 feet on Tincan in Turnagain.
Rumor has it that Alyeska Ski Resort has recorded some 80 inches of new snow at their summit since May 1.
Turnagain has the melting evidence covering the roadside grunge, and farther up we found up to a foot of transforming slush sitting atop the many-foot thick base.
As we neared Tincan's ridge, the whole mountain to ourselves, a gusty wind kicked up swirls of loose snow, a sight familiar in March, not mid-May.
We dropped down a run with 100 names on Tincan's north side and skied a densified powder that was miles from primo but unreal for the time of year and elevation. The snow transformed about 1/3 the way down into smooth soft snow.

North side of Sunburst. The snow back on Pastoral must have been unreal, but winter saw our smiling faces and swooped in.

Looking at the Pass and Seattle Ridge, compare to last year taken May 5: Link.

We were in a sucker hole of sunshine all day but dark clouds wrapped around us and snow came in sideways.
The transform line where the snow went from winter to spring.


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