Lucky for me, this winter in Southcentral has been different. The early season had no snow. On free days we ice climbed like fiends. 2,000-foot gullies up the sides of mountains. Then it began snowing. I taught avalanche classes. The snow stabilized. I ski guided non-stop. Then I snuck in a five personal days of skiing.
Let's start with the image above. You know it's steep when Dana Drummond jump turns. 55-degrees with exposure on The Pinnacle at Hatcher Pass in the Talkeetna Moutnains. After trying this summit twice last year, I cheated and brought Dana to lead the summit pitch of thin rotten snow. Full story and more photos here.
Ryan Hokanson near the summit of Carpathian, way above Turnagain Arm. Like The Pinnacle is the most pointy of the Hatcher Peaks, Carpathian is the most pointy of the Turnagain Peaks. Over the years Ryan has attempted this peak four times, before this final success. See more photos here
Tobey Carman on the Captain's Chair at Turnagain Pass. A massive face of 45-degree powder that looms above the Johnson Pass trailhead.
Andy Newton skiing our fourth and final chute at Palmer Creek near Hope in the Kenai Mountains. We snowmachined 13 miles to the base area for this beautiful series of 600-foot chutes.
Cody Arnold starting down 5,150 vertical feet of powder from the summit of Alpenglow to the ocean. We walked the beach back along the placid water of Turnagain Arm. Then the bore tide came ripping up the Arm and obliterated the beach and forced us back into the forest. We spent the next two hours hurdling deadfall to the car. The perfect nine-hour day of Alaska backcountry skiing.
Mid-April means it's go-time for skiing in Southcentral Alaska! If only I could keep this 100% success rate going!