Monday, June 22, 2015

Sheep Creek Packraft - 6.7.2015

I've wanted to do the Sheep Creek fly-in trip for a while now. But, making it happen has been a challenge. We had planned on doing it the previous weekend, but at the 3 PM the day before the pilot discovered that Crossover Lake was still frozen.

Peering into the Kashwhitna River headwaters.

We spent the rest of the day hemming and hawing between options, eventually deciding on to float from Curry Whistlestop followed by the Redgate section on Willow Creek.

Yay, not frozen!

The next week brought cool temperatures and rain to Southcentral. When Cody landed on Crossover Lake on Friday it was 34 degrees and raining. 
Are we going to fit on that little lake?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Coffee Tapas Wine Packraft

Most people know of this adventure as the "Coffee Pizza Beer Packraft". Aptly named because the loop up Carlo Creek and back down the Nenana starts and ends with at a restaurant that offers just that. However, some of us are lactose intolerant, and wine is healthier anyways.

After a memorable search for our friend Allie's cabin and a leisurely coffee at the Cafe, we were on our way.

For better or for worse, an ATV trail allowed us to skip the joys of bushwhacking and we were soon climbing higher and higher through the tundra of Carlo Creek drainage.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Girls Mountain - Feb 2015

Valdez is always a memorable experience. It was my first Alaska ski experience: RVs, avalanches, and flaming snowmobiles. This trip was equally exciting. It started with a Wednesday moonlight run along the Turnagain Arm trail. There were supposed to be headlamps, but one was left on Kilimanjaro and another was dead, which slowed the arrival at the Brown Bear.

 By 4:30 the next morning I was up, then Max and I drove north to meet Josh in Eagle River.

What are we forgetting?

I'm sure his neighbors loved waking to the sounds of 2 stroke engines and his baying hound. Along the way, both of our sleds came very close to falling off the trailer. In fact, mine did come part way off. Somehow we made it to Thompson Pass.

At the pass we found an alarming raincrust that came very close to destroying our sleds.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Goodhope Creek - 3.14.2015

Skiing in Alaska is hard. There's a reason that film companies come here, get shut down for a month, then barely squeeze out a few good days. Meanwhile, they trigger big, scary, and dangerous avalanches.

Dreamy zones around the Pinnacle and Fairangel Valleys.

No helicopter, a full time job, and low interest in Russian Roulette via avalanche makes it even more of a challenge.

Leaving the sleds behind.

And it makes it even more fun.

Still assessing stability, we picked a short line to start.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kanuti Picture Project

Updated 3.30.2015 - At 1.64 million acres Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge is about the size of Delaware; it provides crucial habitat for bird, mammal, and fish species. Kanuti has no designated trails, campsites, or public use cabins within its boundaries. Its huge and untouched; places like this are why we live here.

If there is enough light to work and enough water to measure, we work in Kanuti nearly every month. Like the Prince William Sound Picture Project, this post is made up of unique and memorable moments that stand out.

Two-mile wide Sithylemenkat Lake is the only confirmed structure in Alaska that was formed by a meteor. Alaska's vigorous crustal movements and extreme climatic conditions have obliterated any others.

Rock glaciers can be made up of angular rock debris where empty space is filled with ice, or they can be ice glaciers buried in debris. Like traditional glaciers, they move downhill by deformation of the ice within. Flow lobes are visible in this one.

Almost back home on the flight to Anchorage: Mount Marcus Baker in the distance, then Pioneer Peak, and the Palmer Hay Flats in the foreground. Marcus Baker is the tallest peak in the Chugach Mountains. On a good snow year one can ski over 6,000 uninterrupted vertical feet off the summit of Pioneer. The predominant flow that brings copious amounts of maritime snow to Marcus Baker leaves the Palmer Hay Flats and the west side of the Chugach dry.