In a winter where clear windows and stable conditions seem predictably unpredictable, this weekend was a bit of a robbery, and we won.
After a week of storming, the double-hungs made their screechy opening over Turnagain Pass on Friday. Colin, Nathan, Mike and I jumped in, and headed up Corn Biscuit.
|Morning sun, storm on the horizon.|
|Though grainy, a slough is visible kicking up a small powder cloud in the gully.|
|Sizing up a run on magnum|
|Looking over Taylor Creek Pass.|
Stoked from stacking up a hefty amount of vert on some very fun lines, Nathan and I headed north on Saturday, feeling that we would be content to scratch out a few runs in the gray light and call it good. Turnagain was socked in and storming, and we assumed Hatcher Pass would be gray but not as burly. At the base of Hatcher we met up with Liz, and after some discussion, decided to head for the 4068 area.
4068 has been a reliable go-to when things are rough to the south. Like the rest of Hatcher, it offers little in the way of help when vis is limited, but its not particularly steep, and relatively sheltered from pounding east and southeast winds.
As we began the long approach, breaks of blue began to appear overhead. We tried to ignore them, for fear that clouds would roll back in.
|Strange bright orb.|
|I will always favor Turnagain and Summit passes, but there is no beating the views in the Talkeetnas.|
The 4068 bowl is not steep, but it is playful, especially when the light is out. The dense snow had formed soft wind spines, and when mixed with terrain features, made for carving some interesting lines.
|Liz busts an uptrack across the bowl to the saddle in a welcome sun.|
Near the ridge the winds, were moving snow, however, much less than one would have expected given their strength. I've storm skied 4068 on days where each run the wind decimated more and more of the slope. In this case, the dense snow that we found wasn't giving in as easily as more typical Hatcher snow might have.