On March 30th I got to Aniak, Alaska for a spring ski trip on village trails of Western Alaska, but the weather the day I arrived was not too great - 30 mph winds and almost 40 degrees F. So I decided to ski upriver into the wind and then ride the wind back to Aniak. Along the way I'd check out a Native village that had me toungue-tied: Chuathlabuk. This was a 36 mile ski (18 up, 18 back) with a lot of it on a "truck trail" - a highway plowed on the Kuskokwim River so trucks could haul supplies from Aniak to Chuathlabuk.
|I turned on the GPS for the return trip to show my ski route.||The hills that the Kuskokwim River carve banks into remind me of the Yukon River between Eagle and Circle.||Here's a shot of the truck trail. Drifting snow can quickly shut the road down.|
|On the Kuskokwim I saw brand new snomobiles ... and very, very old ones.||The truck trail is marked by posts with reflective bands.||You know it's blowing hard when you set your poles down and they take off on you.|
|Chuathlabuk is nicely situated - south-facing on a bluff along the Kusko.||The village has a brand new power generation station.||Main street Chuathlabuk.|
|There is a Russian Orthodox church here.||And like many Alaskan Native villages, there is likely a few problems with drinking here.||And the result of problem drinking can likely also be found here.|
|Problems aside, many Alaska Native villages are in beautiful locations.|
|Checking out the country upriver of my turn-around. Lots of potential for future trail skiing.||Time to head back with the wind. Thanks to the wind, while double poling and skating on this ice road my GPS said that I hit 20.1 mph.||TV's don't handle falling off snowmobile sleds very well.|
|Back to 2006 Skiing Photos||Photos and web page by Tim Kelley|