Monday, May 12, 2014

Ptarmigan - 4.3.2014

The dishes are piling up in the sink, the house is a mess, and I'm getting behind on my sleep. The conditions and weather have been incredible, and its hard to take a break. As such, I'm about a month and a half behind on blog posts.

By April the days were finally long enough to get out and ski after work. Reading Billy Finley's tasty blog post about bike accessed skiing encouraged us to check out Ptarmigan's S Couloir.

With a post-work nap in the books, I meet the usual suspects at the Glen Alps trailhead. We don't have fat bikes, so we employed a combination of walking, skinning, skating, pushing, and kick and glide for the approach.


Per usual, the adventure was filled with familiar faces: we ran into LP, Owen, and Tarah, who we skied Falling water with, on the approach.
 
Then, as we started to climb the apron of the north face, our friend Andy skied down to us. Alaska is a small town.


Looking back towards Alex and Anchorage as we enter the couloir.


Robert doing his usual gazelle imitation as the top of the line starts to come into view:

The top brought the usual incredible views: Carpathian, the Suicides, the Talkeetnas, the Alaska Range, the Chugach, bla bla bla bla. Alex dropping in:







After a rather dire report and a skied out climb we weren't overly optimistic about snow conditions. But, by traversing out of the couloir and onto the hanging snowfield we left the tracks behind. All that was left was steep untracked snow. Robert:

Half way down we split apart. Alex headed back towards the couloir:




 I picked a skinny line to the right. This turned out to be a tense experience as I sidestepped across exposed rocks and ice to reach the line.


But, totally worth it!


Once I rejoined the boys we continued into the apron.


Not down yet!

And of course, any good day in Southcentral isn't complete without views of Foraker, Hunter, and Denali.