Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hatcher Pass - 4.13.2012

After an exciting tour checking out Hatcher Pass on the previous day, our friends Danny and Emma joined us for another day at Hatcher. This time we decided to head to the valley to the southeast of where we had skied the day before. We followed an existing skin track up a face that must have already had at least 200 sets of tracks down it.


More rad views, never made it back to this zone, but it will happen someday!


Hatcher Pass is one of those zones where all of the terrain clearly visible from the parking lot gets hammered by skiers, while the bigger terrain barely gets touched. Nick drops into our first run (just out of sight of the parking lot, of course):

Which ended up being soft settled powder, the plethora of tracks essentially stopped just to the right of where we skied.


I dropped last and skied this great rib to the valley floor. My tracks:


At the valley floor, we headed for the bigger terrain farther up the valley:


As we continued farther back we saw more and more evidence of slides on almost every aspect.


Although these slides appeared to have happened immediately after the last storm, it was a sign not to push it in bigger terrain. Instead, we headed for a wide east facing ramp to avoid the terrain traps we had seen father back. Eventually the bootpack up the ridge to the ramp turned into rock climbing, which, although very entertaining, not everyone was stoked on. So, we dropped; Nick's turns started out tentatively, but soon he was charging:


Danny:


Remembering the sustained pitch and soft snow of our first lap, we headed back to our ridgeline from earlier in the day. Crossing the valley we came across these strange tracks involving a bird, a furry animal, fur, and blood. Notice the furry animal tracks entering from top right and the awesome tracks of the bird's wings swooping in from the top left!


After reenacting how the transformation of life from mammal to aves probably occured, a steep bootpack brought us to the ridgeline:


And before long we were back on top. Nick drops into more untracked:


Then I ran away from the snow dragon that was chasing me:


Somehow I managed to hit about 10 buried rocks on my way to the valley floor, which for fear of their well-being, I relayed back to the rest of the group. But, apparently I'm a rock magnet, no one else found a single one these sharks. They did find some great snow though. Danny:








Danny making the rest of us look bad:


Emma:




To think, just around the corner, and we'd be sharing the snow with 200 of our closest friends.


After 3 long, soft, untracked laps we headed back to the parking lot. Nick looking even more sexy than usual (And I didn't think it was possible...):


With another great day in the books we headed down to spend the evening with Emma's awesome family in Anchorage. More to come!