Sunday, February 16, 2014

Seattle Ridge - 2.9.2014

Saturday wasn't the only good day last weekend, Sunday was also rad. After a quiet day on Tin Can while an unsuspecting Anchorage slept, we knew we'd have to get a bit more creative to find untracked turns and solitude on Sunday.

We decided to take advantage of the unusual snowmobile closure on Seattle Ridge and check it out. But, about 20 parties in front of us had the same idea. That being said, starting the day by skinning in the sun felt great.


Fortunately for us, nineteen of the twenty groups in front of us decided to ski back towards the road as we dropped west towards Seattle Creek.

Standing on top of our first line we knew that, just like the day before, the storm snow was sitting on a slick layer of well developed surface facets. The question was, just how fast would the storm snow slide. I dropped first, watching cracks instantly propagate around my skis. I kept moving, knowing that I needed to get in front of the sliding snow, but the slide kept bunching up and cracking below me. Before long I popped out in front of it, but not before wasting half my run going straight.


Aliza found more stable snow:


So did Alex:


Standing in the cold shade at the bottom, we were all happy to head back for the sun on the ridge. Back on top, the crew taking in the view of Eddies and Wolverine:


We weren't in the mood to spend the rest of the day wasting our hard earned vertical out-running slides, so we tried a different aspect and pitch. Andy:


Aliza popping out of the Seattle Creek drainage and back into the sun.


Again, the ridge brought incredible views. The Kenai Peninsula's highest peak, Carpathian, dwarfing the rowdy spine wall of Eddies.


After two uptracks out of the cold and shady Seattle Creek drainage we were ready for some sun.


Andy:


Too good to not do again.


And one last, beautiful, sunbathed run to the car:


Things are still a bit thin down low, especially on solar aspects...

But, with the proper tossing technique, even steep frozen dirt is easy to navigate. Take notes.


And, of course, a day on Turnagain isn't complete without a perfect view up the Twenty Mile, complete with the infamous Spine Cell zone.


I'm so glad winter is back, lets hope it stays around!