Friday, May 24, 2019

The Wedge Ski - 5.8.2019

Yogging out of the Glen Alps parking lot on Wednesday evening my pants seemed to be getting unreasonably wet. Then it started to smell like beer too. I stopped, dug the half spilled beer out of the bottom of my pack, drank it, and continued.

15 minutes later I ran into Maggie who was eating crackers and cheese and watching the ptarmigan/maybe on a Tinder date. The crackers and cheese went nicely with the beer, and after a short chat I was on my way again.

I waded through a few isothermal snowdrifts, found the melted out trail, and continued my yog towards Ship Lake Pass.

As I'm still in denial about the inevitable destruction of my new skins, I waited until about a a mile before the pass to switch from running shoes to skins. At about that time the dinner appetizers came into view:

At the pass, I turned right and wrapped around the backside of the Wedge. To the northwest was O'Malley where I had an interesting evening on Monday.

Behind me was the Ramp where the brothers and I had a great pow evening recently; below was the south fork of Ship Creek and many fond and not so fond Arctic to Indian memories.

By the top, the clouds were swirling in and out, and bustling by on a conveyor belt from the Prince William Sound. Below, I could see a new wet slab avalanche on a sharky face above Green Lake.

Glad to be dropping into the confined and deeper snowpack of the chute, I put on my skis and turned north.

With the snow and wind of the previous night, I was concerned about a possible wind slab, so I ski-cut the entrance and zipped out of the way. Nothing moved - it was time to drop into the cream cheese below. Not a bad appetizer!

Tossing my skins on and jumping on the skintrack, it took less than 45 minutes to get to the top. This time I listened to a podcast about a lady whose Swiss citizenship request got turned down repeatedly cause she was anti-cowbell. Humans are the weirdest monkeys.

Back on top, I washed my pizza down with a beer while puffy clouds built up over Anchorage.

Then I followed the summit ridge west to the drop-in of the south gully.

As opposed to the north side which was just beginning the transition to summer, the south face was lovely corn. It was nice to crank turns and not worry about getting into a race with a wind slab.

However, in the course of blissfully ripping towards the valley I didn't watch where I was going and was soon teetering over a large edge. Woops! Again, thankful for springtime stability.

Sidestepping around the cliff left 750 vertical feet of overcooked corn to the valley floor.

From there it was a quick skate down-valley towards the melted out trail. Ptarmigan's S Couloir looked fat on the way by, lots of good after-work runs to reminisce about on that one.

A little bit past the bridge and I was out of snow. Must be almost time to put away the skis and ride the recycled snow down the rivers in a raft.

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