Sunday, May 2, 2021

Whittier Glacier - 4.5.2013

Updated on 5.2.2021 to journal a day of spring skiing above the ocean - very different conditions than the last time we visited!
 
After an amazing line on TT43 the previous day, we were all excited to get back out, and decided to check out some of the amazing terrain we had seen around Whittier. A sled bump up the glacier brought us to the bottom of the zone.

Photo: Matt Cameron

Not a bad place to wait for the rest of the crew.

Photo: Matt Cameron

With this face in mind we headed towards the ridge:


Monday, April 19, 2021

Tincan - 2.8.2014

Note: Updated on 4.19.2021 to include another great day at Tincan Mountain Resort.

The last month here has not been winter as we know it. The forecast has been filled with terms like "atmospheric river", "tropical infusion", and "veritable firehose". Unfortunately this cascade of precipitation fell largely as rain, not snow. Then it got warm. There's been a lot more basketball, running, skating, and hiking than my winter dreams normally consist of.

This weekend we thought we'd go up to the Snowbird Hut for a little adventure, but then Friday the forecast started to look promising for the Kenai. Saturday morning brought 40 cm of snow to Turnagain, calm, and bluebird. How could we resist?

Pulling into the usually swamped parking lot at Tin Can, there appeared to be only a hand full of groups that were not part of the usual avy classes. Awesome. Anchorage had forgotten that it's winter.

Approaching treeline:


At treeline we watched several slides release from remote triggers several hundred meters away.


More signs of instability:


Archived 2021 Anchorage Ski Outlooks

 3.31.2021

Thurs – Fri: mostly sunny, moderate temps, lovely (high confidence).
Moderate temps. Sunniest at Thompson Pass. Warm in sun with sun effect. Moderate winds for Seward, the Thompson Pass road corridor, and the Anchorage Front Range; light ridgetop winds elsewhere. Good days to get powder fever.

Weekend: warm, snowy, windy (high confidence).
Moderate/heavy snowfall for Hatcher decreasing as you go towards Turnagain; moderate snow for Thompson Pass; rain at sea level. Clearing first at Turny and last at Hatcher.

Early Next Week: moderate temps, some sun/clouds/snow (low confidence).
Monday partly sunny. Tues/Wed snow possible for the Prince William Sound mountains and drier inland with winds for the Anchorage Front Rage, Seward, and the Thompson Pass road corridor. Warm in sun with sun effect.

Dirty Details
This is my last outlook of the winter, so...you're on your own own! Muahahahaha. Not really - here's how I'd go about about figuring out where to ski:

1 Minute
Turnagain/Girdwood - Girdwood on Wunderground

5 Minutes
Use Meteoblue Multimodel to see differences in magnitude and timing between models for sun and precip. For wind, different models have different resolution - think number of pixels in a picture - resolution affects wind forecast, so just look for relative windiness over a week.
Use the Southcentral Alaska Mountain Forecast for the Rain/Snow line.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Anchorage Ski Outlook - 3.31.2021

Thurs – Fri: mostly sunny, moderate temps, lovely (high confidence).
Moderate temps. Sunniest at Thompson Pass. Warm in sun with sun effect. Moderate winds for Seward, the Thompson Pass road corridor, and the Anchorage Front Range; light ridgetop winds elsewhere. Good days to get powder fever.

Weekend: warm, snowy, windy (high confidence).
Moderate/heavy snowfall for Hatcher decreasing as you go towards Turnagain; moderate snow for Thompson Pass; rain at sea level. Clearing first at Turny and last at Hatcher.

Early Next Week: moderate temps, some sun/clouds/snow (low confidence).
Monday partly sunny. Tues/Wed snow possible for the Prince William Sound mountains and drier inland with winds for the Anchorage Front Rage, Seward, and the Thompson Pass road corridor. Warm in sun with sun effect.

Read more >>  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Highbush, Lingon & Kinnikinnick - March 2021

As March arrives the sun rises higher in the sky, and our focus shifts from the golden midwinter light of south faces to the shady north slopes. With that transition there is a nexus where longer days allow us to reach the farther out solar slopes before the sun does. 

In early March, with that sweet spot in mind, we headed up Peterson Creek hoping to beat the sun to Punch Bowl. The Peterson approach was the usual mix of hopping between frozen rocks, crawling under gateways of alders, and inching across icy overflow - all important ingredients for cooking up a good mountain memory.

Dmitry was excited to be out, and lead the charge, bringing us to the shoulder of Bearberry Point:


Feeling the chilly morning air bite our cheeks, we party skied the mellow slopes of the glacier into Kern. Above D and Nyssa is Lowbush; there's a funny memory of watching Neil drop into its face only to watch a slab rip at his feet. With eyes like saucers Andrew immediately turned around and skied the other way.



Once past Lowbush we looked up at the low pass that would take us into the Punchbowl. Rising above Dmitry is the big south face of Highbush; its a fun one to dream about, but conditions would have to be perfect to get it safely.