This week I've gotten out for a couple evening sidecountry laps at the town's local ski area, Mt. Eyak. Eyak is a real gem and a cultural experience - it has one lift, a single chair, that weather and maintenance permitting runs from 2 PMish until darkish. And, even better, for $5 you can get a ride to the top and from there start hiking up to some of the best sidecountry I've skied.
After a quick traverse from the top of the chair you immediately start skinning up the arm of Mt. Eyak towards its peak. Looking down at town from halfway up the climb:
Another shot from the summit of Mt. Eyak - all but the last 200 meters of the approach can be skinned, then a quick bootpack pops you out on top.
Looking south towards Wolverine Ridge and Wart Face which we skied over the weekend:
Eye candy - can't wait to check out this zone, called Queen's Chair, located just east of town.
Here comes the slough...
Time to go!
Now that is sidecountry!
The exit isn't bad - a short ski down a destructive avalanche path (which one would never go near during elevated avy danger) brings you to a 15 minute walk through the rainforest to the Cannery Road. It feels funny to be walking through ferns and moss after 700 meters of spines, flutes and steeps.
By the way, I've been inspired by my trip through Canada and am switching to the metric system!