23 June 2012:
A Visit To The New Snowbird Glacier Hut
I wanted to check out the new
American Alpine Club hut at the Snowbird Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains. I had been to the old metal dome hut
that was once there a number of times before, but never to this
new replacement hut. And if you want to check out
something in Alaska ... what better way to do it than on skis.
Route to the
Snowbird Glacier and hut.
There was enough,
but not a lot, of snow leading up to the pass.
At Snowbird Pass,
Skiing across the
A panoramic view of
the Snowbird Glacier. The pass you cross over is the notch
in the left of this picture.
Approaching the hut
on the moraine. Bartholf Creek drainage in the distance.
The Snowbird Glacier
Nice view from
inside the hut. Check out the ski tracks out the middle
left window. Damn! That guy can shred! ;-)
The Snowbird Glacier
is home to this striking nunatak.
Heading back down.
The valley below
snow-line. Just a month earlier we were crust skiing in
22 June 2012:
Return to Seattle Ridge
for crust skiing Seattle Ridge from Turnagain Pass to Pyramid
Peak and back were not good three weeks prior. So I gave
this trip another try when the snowpack firmed up, this time on
waxless skis. I had done this ski before in
(route map). On a clear, early summer day this
ridge offers a great ski trek.
"0" snow depth at
The variety of
terrain on this ridge makes for fun skiing.
I passed by the
Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center
weather station. When I got home I looked on the web
site for this weather site and could see my ski tracks in the
archived hourly web cam images (see above).
360 degree panoramic
view from the summit of Pyramid Peak.
Brown bear skid
tracks over my out-going ski tracks.
Recent warm weather
was allowing alders to "spring to life". Occasionally you
would hear snow being sprayed as alders sprung out of the
snowpack that had them pinned down all winter.
Could ski most all
of the way down to the road on the way out.
02 June 2012:
Seattle Ridge "End of Crust Season" Skiing
morning dawned clear so Benji, Cory and I headed to Turnagain
Pass to try crust skiing on Seattle Ridge. It was a
beautiful day and we got a good workout, but the crust skiing
was not very good. It was okay on the valley floor but the
snow was punchy on the climb up the ridge and on top.
Looks like we are entering the 'tween season. It's not
getting cold enough at night for crust skiing and the snow has
not yet gone isothermal to make for good summer-snow skiing.
There's lots of snow on this ridge, so in a couple/three weeks
it will likely be good for hiking up and skiing on waxless skis.
Skiing was good on
the valley floor but punchy higher up.
Snow depth at the
road is getting lean.
of the skiing was not as good as this section on the ridge.
28 May 2012:
Taylor Creek (Turnagain Pass)
posted pictures on this web site of skiing at Taylor Creek in
Turnagain Pass. So here you go. A short window of
clear weather opened up, so I headed down to Taylor Creek and
found some good crust skiing, The run back down from
Taylor Creek Pass is fun and allows you to get in a lot of
turns. Was able to start skiing 100 feet from the road.
Map of Taylor Creek.
Taylor Creek Pass.
At the pass.
Looking down the
Good snow for turns.
I passed by this
porcupine that was up in a tree. His/her teeth were
orange. Isn't this the color that teeth turn for those
that are addicted to meth? Perhaps this porky once gnawed
his way into a meth lab!? ;-)
19 May 2012:
Uffenbeck let Cory Smith and me know that crust skiing was still
good at Reed Lakes. So Cory and I headed north the next
morning. Bottom line: Reed Lakes Valley should be on every
crust skier's radar. It's a spectacular Talkeetna
Mountains location with great terrain for crust skiing.
Heading towards the
base of the first climb (center of picture).
Lots of gradual
climbing to get to the end of the valley.