Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hatcher Pass Skiing - 4.12.2012

Finding heavily sun-affected snow high on Turnagain Pass on the 11th, Nick and I spent the evening trying to figure out what to do next. Going back down to Valdez was tempting, but we knew that the sun had been cooking the snow there as well. We would need to get up at least 2000 vertical feet above Thompson Pass to find good snow, and with the ongoing Tailgate Alaska event, we knew the area had received a lot of traffic recently. Nick suggested we head towards the cooler interior climate at Hatcher Pass. After the reviewing topo maps of the region we headed out the next morning.

New to the area, Nick and I planned to use the day to check out some closer in terrain, analyze stability, and decide if it was worth staying for a few more days. Nick heading up for our first lap:

And heading back down:

Yep, that snow is good!

I dropped in farther up the ridge:

Our second lap we headed up the same valley as the first, but this time a bit further, finding another mini-golf zone. Nick:

The terrain and snow in this zone was great, so we headed back up our skin track for another lap. Nick went airborne:

and finished it up with some GS turns:

I dropped into a little hanging snowfield:

Then, at the last second, decided to do a flip off of a rock lower down my line, which didn't turn out very well:

Impressed with the terrain available at Hatcher and excited about the easily accessible high quality snow, Nick and I decided to head back the next day.

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