Monday, April 22, 2013

AK Spring Arrives - 2013

In the last week the weather has finally started to recover from a prolonged period of sub-climatic temperatures. And with this warming its really started to feel like spring here. Some of us would even say its tanning weather...

Photo: Danny Spencer

Nick and Danny joined us for the week. We started out with a recon mission up Eyak.

Right before we dropped off Eyak the next storm started to roll in - and with it epicly flat light. After days of warm weather and sun, I found rather nerve-wracking conditions of breakable crust, raging sloughs and a recently exposed 20 foot cliff in my line. Danny was glad to have that experience over with:

Photo: Nick Matisse

Monday night into Tuesday brought temperatures well above freezing along with 40 cm of new snow at 500 meters. But, hey, 4° C snow is better than 0° C rain any day! On Tuesday, well below treeline, everything avalanched. Nick dropping one last pillow into the parking lot.

24 hours later it started to clear and stabilize.

Photo: Danny Spencer

We headed up to Eyak Ridge:

It was darn deep:

Photo: Danny Spencer

On Thursday evening, Rachel, Danny and I headed up Wolverine with plans to ski something mellow. Danny was a bit under the weather and had a ferry to catch. But, once we saw that Peter (who runs an awesome blog), had already been on Wart Face, we weren't going to miss out on that. Danny charges down Wart Face:

Wart Face is so incredible, it rolls steeper and steeper until you are smack in the middle of the face:

Photo: Danny Spencer

...and 450 vertical meters later you come flying out the bottom.

Photo: Danny Spencer

With such good of snow we weren't going to miss out on another lap, so we headed back up to the ridge; passing this fellow on the way.

Back on top, the alpenglow was really getting going. Can't wait to get on the Murchinson Wall sometime soon:

Nothing like skiing at 8:30 PM; Danny:

I brought up the rear:

Photo: Danny Spencer

By Thursday the warm sun had started to affect even the higher terrain around town. Rachel and I skied Shiels in the evening, it looked a lot like this:

The next day, with spring arriving down low, we headed 20 miles out for a mission on the Scott Glacier. Thanks to Danny for the great pictures!

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