Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hatcher's Pass: The Talkeetna Mountains in Soft Light and Backcountry Style

They were visible from Anchorage and Eagle River today, nearly an hours drive north, and we found ourselves enjoying the Talkeetna Mountains. A small chain of mountains found north of the Chugach Range and south east of the Alaskan Range. Home to Hatcher's Pass and Independence Mine State Park, this is one of my favorite places to play within 60 minutes drive from home. On a good day you can see forever, on a really good day you can see with clarity only found on HD or Blueray....

Jasper had another Ski-Jouring lesson today, taught by Gretchen; while Jack tagged alongside taking notes.
It is true the sun rises in the East, and sets in the West. BUT, in Alaska it always seems to set in the South during these winter months of limited sunlight, providing amazing illumination on the surround peaks and valleys, also called Alpenglow.

Thanks to our friends Mike and Michaella we were finally able to get a photograph taken of ourselves in action. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Powder Dayz

My legs are screaming for a rest day after two amazing days carving the deep powder at Alyeska. As my ski partner called it Friday, the "Champagne Powder" was like carving lines through a cloud.
Sunrise on the Turnagain Arm, driving south east down the Seward Highway; recently named one of America's most scenic drives.

The best part about winter sports in Alaska, we still have three more months of Snowboarding left this season!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stay At Home Doggie Dad; aka Thursdays Ascent of Baldy Peak

As a result of 14 months in Iraq, we've earned a couple four day weekends since coming home Thanksgiving day. And since Gretchen still has to work five days a week, 9-5; my days home are spent entertaining two husky pups. Today we took a short day hike up above 3,000ft on Mount Baldy Peak, overlooking Eagle River and the Cook Inlet Anchorage area.

Jasper and Jack both enjoyed ascending and descending this rather steep peak, which was almost entirely snow covered . Jasper loves to bound up and down the slopes, feeling the snow crash below his feet, and the chilly Alaskan winter breeze in his face. Jack still follows closely behind me, not quite sure how much freedom he truly has. On occasion will break from my heels to chase after his older brother. Today Jasper found someones lost "Yak Trax" in a snow drift, and the two of them ran up and down the mountain playing with this new toy.

Unfortunately husky pups have a hard time snapping summit shots of their owners, so here is a self portrait.

As always good times were had by all, on this glorious Alaskan Winter Day. We were chased off the peak by incoming snow storms over the bigger Chugach Mountain peaks to our west.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend in the Woods - A Frozen Byers Lake at Denali State Park, Cabin #2

Dear Lower 48er's,

We just got back from an exhausting weekend playing up at Byers Lake, in Denali State Park. Our owners rented this really cool cabin for the weekend, it was big enough for lots of people, but it was just us. They had to park the car, then ski in almost two miles to get to the cabin, nestled in a snowy wood, alongside a huge frozen lake, beneath the mountains of the Alaskan Range.

On sunday we went for a 6 mile ski and hike through the woods. It snowed about 12 inchs that day.

The cabin was very warm, with pot belly stove providing the heat.

On monday we skiied back out, only to find the Escape covered under snow. Gretchen made me carry this heavy sled part of the way.

I hope you had a great Lee/Jackson/King holiday weekend, now its back to work......