Monday, January 18, 2021

North Bowl - 12.5.2020

Its pour raining in Anchorage. Actually. No. Its pouring rain SIDEWAYS in Anchorage. This isn't all bad - we're getting to test our new window - its not leaking...yet. And, while this gray, drippy, and dreary weather makes people want to jam their heads into the blankets and emerge March, it makes me a neurotic mess questioning the meaning of life. Great for getting projects done. Until I run out of projects. Then the quality of the projects go downhill, case in point: our mailbox.

 
Nyssa says I'm scary when I'm bored, so hopefully a little blogging will keep me from taking the chainsaw to the house in favor of reminiscing about a colder (and less gray) day last month:

Pulling into the dark South Fork parking lot it was 3 degrees, that's 35 degrees colder than it is now. There were lots of familiar faces in the lot and it was fun catching up with Jessie and Peter on the skin track. When they stopped to put on their ski crampons at Hunter Pass my initial reaction was: "I don't need those!" Then they went zipping past across the tilted frozen tundra. 

The goal had been to ski in the sun, but the sunny slopes were wind scoured and looked very spikey. So, the decision was made to drop into the deep freeze of North Bowl. Good, sun is too pleasant anyways.

Photo Erin Larson

The bowl skied OK, and got better lower down, but we hadn't given up on the sun, and decided to skin towards a a couple promising gullies in the sun. Starting to skin it quickly became apparent that we were back to a thin and spikey aspect, but being stubborn masochists we kept dragging our skins up the icy and rocky skin track. This is likely the same stubborn masochistic habit that had me pass on the easier and better paying degree in Construction Management.

Getting into the gullies was a challenge as we lurched over the thinly covered rocks. The snow in the gully wasn't too bad, though not good enough to waste another run on. Below us the foggy inversion of the Anchorage bowl was coming into the light:

One of the fun parts of BC skiing is the puzzle of finding good snow (usually at the cost of comfort), so we headed for a lower elevation bowl past North Bowl. Northwest Bowl perhaps. After two scratchy and borderline dust-on-crust runs we finally found good snow, so put in a skinner and started banging out laps.


By then end of the day the bowl was comical looking - tracked out like a ski area really. Dropping into one last run as Mount Gordon Lyon held the last alpenglow of the day, we were proud of our work. 

Then with six laps under our belts we climbed towards Hunter Pass where Harp was framed by the blue-gray light of dusk.


We looked back as Tom and Erin chased us towards the final descent to the car. Somewhere behind them is our cute little house. The descent was everything you'd expect from South Fork: firm, thin, slippery, inconsistent and generally bad; just the right way to finish the day.

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