Saturday, June 21, 2008

Turnagain Pass Skiing, June 2008

June 21st, 2008

On a rainy June 21st, 2008, in Anchorage, the web-cams for Portage and Whittier showed almost clear skies and nice weather. Adam Verrier and I decided to load up our AT gear and head down to Turnagain Pass for a mid-summer AT ski of Tincan. Driving down there the weather improved steadily, and by the time we got to Turnagain Pass it was all sunshine and shorts-weather. Amazingly, only one other group of people had taken advantage of this great opportunity. We skied in shorts all the way to the summit and have the sun-burns to prove it. The snow was a little slow, but well compacted, and on the steeper slopes the skiing was actually quite good.

Revisited on June 29th, 2008

Adam and I again went down to Turnagain Pass on a rainy Anchorage Sunday, June 29th, for another perfect day on Tincan. This time we skied the North face (Todd's Run) on near perfect corn snow. Wow! Pictures added at the bottom.

Tincan seen from the parking area at the top on Turnagain Pass
Adam and I about halfway up Tincan
Myself with Lyons Creek and Tincan Creek in the background. And for all you Tincan fans out there ... the actual Tincan Peak is not the one we typically ski on but rather the prominent peak at the head of Tincan Creek (in a line directly above my left ski tip).
Lyons Creek
Myself and ...
Adam soaking up some rays atop of Tincan
Pretty good skiing on compacted summer snow coming down from Tincan
Panorama from Tincan looking West and North towards the Turnagain Arm

We revisited Turnagain Arm on June 29th, 2008, for another round of great skiing. This time we decided to go all the way to the summit and ski down the North face (Todd's run). The conditions turned out to be optimal on the North side.

Bushwhacking our way up onto the Tincan ridge.
Heading up towards the summit
The last part up to the summit was easier to scramble than to skin-up
Adam enjoying the view of Tincan Creek with today's summit in the background (note: this is not the true summit of Tincan).
Adam on the North face.
Near perfect conditions on Todd's run.And bush-whacking back out to the road!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Penguin Peak June 15th 2008

Penguin Peak (4305 feet) in the Chugach Mountains along the Turnagain Arm. Hiked up and skied down (to around 800 ft elevation) on June 15th, 2008.

Penguin Peak on a clear day (back in 2006) as seen from Indianhouse Mountain across Bird Ridge.
Today was not a clear day (thick fog above the old radio tower) but the snow was good from the summit all the way down to about 800 feet elevation (a continuous snow decent of 3500 feet on June 15th!).
The snow was firm enough to hike straight up on running shoes (much easier than skinning).
Looking down the avalanche shute (to be skied on the way down).
The old radio tower in the fog.
On the summit (not much to see).
Better watch where you step around here (huge, unstable cornices).
Looking down the summit ridge ... visibility of about 30 feet made skiing difficult. Avalanche prone snow which felt and flowed like concrete made it even more fun.
At the bottom of the avalanche shute (~800 feet elevation).