Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blast fromThe Past

I was rumbling around looking for photos for Babe's 10 birthday and I found this. Now you get to see it.

(you can enlarge this photo, as well as all photos in the blog, by clicking on it)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hot Dog

Today was the hottest day of the summer, it must have been in the 70s and maybe 80s F (18 to 24 C). Too hot for us, Jago and I looked for something with a bit of snow on it.

Great views to the south of us.

And enroute along the ridge.

Up top along the ridge we had trail, trail mixed with snow.

And trail made of snow.

We found plenty of snow to roll around in.


after that roll, she pops up smiling.

On they way back down, the Hot Dog followed. You'd thought her tongue would have been longer.

First day of summer is next weekend. Bring it on!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Change of Scene

We are in the midst of a change of scene. Our low lying snow is departing, leaving us with some hiking trails. We received a bunch of snow late in the year so some of our popular spots probably won't be snow free until mid-July, and that might be optomistic.

We decided to head to Falls Creek to see how high the snow level was and to get our first big hike of the year in. this is a shot at the trailhead, its about 8:30 pm

About 1600 feet in altitude, we have enough snow to ski on. Its about 10 pm in this picture.

Heading back down the trail.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Trail of 98

Today we skied our 98th outing together for the season. With clear skies, a cold clear starry night, below freezing temperatures and 10 feet of snow at the trailhead; perfect conditions for crust skiing were awaiting us. No need to worry about soft snow and the dogs if we can return before it softens up. Today we left at 7am and arrived back at the trailhead at noon.

Starting out on nice hard snow.

Taking our first break after climbing 900 feet and traveling 2 miles. There are always good views on bluebird days.

Valley is pondering our next move.

Moving along Center Ridge before we drop down to the valley floor where the traveling is easier and faster.

I am not sure why she is coming back to me but she seems happy to be out today.

View off to the right while skiing on the valley floor.

Moving along on the valley floor. You can see an "undulating surface" which we are traveling on, that was weird, it was like boating on water with wakes.

Skate skiers moving up valley from us. Skate skiing on crust snow is a common thing for some of us to do this time of year. Its like its own season.

Checking another couple of skate skiers out who are closer during our lunch break.

Trotting back. By now the snow has softened incredibly and its a good thing we are on our way back. You can see the skis are making a mark and the dogs are starting to sink in.

The sun is pretty hot, so we took a few breaks to let the dogs cool down. Hot on the top, cool on the bottom.

Valley View.

A great day to be on the snow. I can't believe we are still skiing. Some of the low lying trailheads are free from snow, and they are packed with cars and folks hiking. However we are still out enjoying alot of snow waiting to melt.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dawn Patrol

When its clear at night, the morning is cold. That makes for some mighty fine crust skiing. The crust is as solid as concrete and it also allows the dogs to travel along. Something they can't do in the afternoon corn snow which doesn't support their weight. Without crust skiing, it'd be hard to get them some exercise in the spring months of April and May.

What its like when we first show up at the trailhead before sunrise. Enough light to ski, and barely enough to capture photos.

If you enlarge the picture, by clicking on it, you can see the skate ski tracks from earlier travels. There is no sinking in the snow by the dogs and we can ski quite fast.

Ptarmigan Peak in the background. Until I figure out how to take motion shots in low light, we'll have to do with these "static" pictures.

And Ptarmigan Peak with the rising sun shining on it, right as we are leaving the trail.

In alot of ways, this is my favorite time of year to ski, its beautiful out, nobody else is hardly around, you can ski anywhere, and the dogs love it.

Many thanks to Tim Kelley, who many years ago introduced me to this. Without him and his website, I'd still be missing some of the best skiing in Alaska.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spring Skiing

One of the best reasons for spring skiing. Finding a patch of bare tundra and sneaking a nap in.

Even Rocket is looking like he's going to tip over.