June 13, 2010:
For the past couple of years fellow Prince William Sound skier
Doug Huvar and I have had eyes on the ridges to the east of
McClure Bay. We both tried skiing to the high country in
this area last year, but for one reason or another (like
weather) it didn't happen. This year Doug got up the long
ridge east of McClure Bay this year, with his backcountry skis,
a few weeks before my wife and I went. He said the ridge
would be good skinny skiing ... and he was right.
The above images
show the location of the east ridge that leads up from McClure
Bay in PWS.
Hoofing it up to
Reaching the snow
and enjoying the scenic cruise to the top.
View from the summit
point of the ridge.
"Track skiing" with
Enjoying the ride
Lake above the old
cannery bay - still frozen.
Tracks of a black
bear that stepped on our approach ski tracks.
cabbage. From Wikipedia: "its roots are food for bears,
who eat it after hibernating as a laxative or cathartic."
Nice Crust Skiing
At Hatcher Pass
8, 2010: Last
year ash fallout from Mount Redoubt hit Hatcher Pass hard.
And crust skiing was shut down by a gray blanket of volcanic
spew. What a difference there is this year ... good crust
skiing is aplenty and the crust surface is really smooth.
I enjoy crust skiing at Hatchers Pass because there is usually a
lot of climbing involved. So besides getting some good
crust skiing in, you also can get a killer aerobic workout too.
Arrows show areas of
good crust skiing terrain.
Bald Mountain Ridge
in the distance.
Nice crust skiing
terrain at the head of Upper Willow Creek.
Long runs of easy
turning ... fun!
Heading towards Bald
Skiing a "rock
garden" north of Bald Mountain Ridge.
Crust And Bears
4, 2010: Benji,
Cory and I skated good crust snow to the back of the South Fork
Eagle River valley, crossed Symphony Lake and skied up to the
4000 foot level of a cirque below Triangle Peak. Good
turns coming down. On the way back we headed over to Eagle
Lake and made some new friends (see the last two pictures of
this section). Click
here to see Cory's pictures from this ski trip.
Climbing up an old
Lake and heading towards Triangle Peak.
Calliope Peak in the
Looking, from near
the top of our climb, back to where we came from.
Reaching the 4000'
level in a cirque next to Triangle Peak.
Good turns coming
Benji runs a GS
Heading back to
Symphony Lake. Nice crust cruising here.
Symphony Lake on the
Skiing the moraine
between Eagle and Symphony Lakes.
At the far end of
Eagle Lake we noticed fresh tracks in the snow ... and soon Cory
spotted the bears.
Here are two of the
three brown bears that were watching us from the other side of
the valley. "OK bears ... it's your valley ... we're outta
"I'm Going To Be In To Work A Little Bit Late Today ..."
2010: When it's
sunny and there is crust snow above Anchorage ... a two hour ski
often takes precedence over showing up at work early.