Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Christopher Columbus!!!!

Despite being responsible for the death of tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of "Native Americans", we still celebrate Christopher Columbus's discovery of the Americas, or is it his Birthday? Who cares, all I know is we get a federal holiday, so I went backcountry snowboarding!!!
Matt skinning in towards Hatcher Peak.
More skinning, Hatcher Peak face in the background. It was a "bluebird" day.
First signs of Avalanche #1 we saw, possible skier triggered within the last 48 hours.
Second Avalanche we saw on the face of Hatch Peak, certainly looks to be skier triggered within the last 24 hours.
Shot from half way up Hatch Peak
Jack and Labeda passed out on the drive home.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

First Days of BC Downhill; tearing it up on the Lane Glacier

October 5th, the kids haven't even picked out their trick or treat costumes yet, in most parts of the country people haven't even begun to think about ole' man winter coming, or even pulled their wool sweaters off the top back shelf in the closet, but NOT IN ALASKA! We're barely even out of September, less then three weeks into Autumn, and we're ripping it up in the snow in Alaska. Maybe that's why I love this place...
So for our first tracks/first turns of the season, we set out with friends Matt and Jessica, plus four dogs, Hannah, Jack, Jasper, and Labeda, to play on the Lane Glacier, located at the end of the Archangel road in Hatchers Pass.
About a 3-4 mile hike from the car, the snow quickly moved in after pulling up to the parking lot, and continually dumped while we climbed towards the glacier.Summit shots before beginning the descent in knee deep fresh powder!
We peaked at about 6100ft, before heading down.
The gorgeous granite rock outcroppings are the norm in the Talkeetna Mountains.
Matt tears it up.
Self portrait, Gretchen in the background making final turns of the run.
All in all it was an amazing day, hopefully the start of a great ski/snowboard season.
When we left Eagle River it was in the 40's and sunny, but we returned to blowing snow and an accumulation on the ground, with a forecast of more to come!

October 4th, South Suicide Peak

October is a different time of year in Alaska. It's not quite full fledged winter, but fall is certainly over. Each day we slowly watch the snow levels creep down the Chugach Front Range, getting closer and closer to Anchorage.

Just another Saturday hike, this time we decided to tackle South Suicide Peak. A promoninent peak situated at the end of Rabbit Creek Valley, adjacent to North Suicide, Ptmargin, and McHugh Peaks. Coming in at 5005ft, South is about 500ft shorter then North Suicide Peak.

We chose to access this peak by way of the Falls Creek trail, along the Seward Highway.

Gretchen hiking with the 4000ft Indianhouse Mountain in the background.

"Postholing" up the slopes of South Suicide Peak.
Shot taken approximately 500ft below the summit, in the midst of a nice October "blizzard"...

Jasper enjoying the arrival of winter!