Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oosik - March 2009

The Oosik Classic ~50 km Classic Ski Race
Talkeetna, March 21st, 2009

Even though I had a torn MCL and messed up miniscus from my accident on the Arctic to Indian traverse a week ago, I decided to try the Oosik classic anyway. In my 7 years in Alaska, I have never missed an Oosik. And since the race was hald on the rivers and marshes North of Talkeetna (much of the race was actually on the Chulitna river) it was very flat and conducive to double-poling so I wouldn't have to use my bad leg much.

We had a blue bell day with views of Mt. McKinley, Foraker and the Alaska Range from much of the course as you can see. It was so nice that after the race I headed back out on the course with my camera to capture a few pictures.
Oosik King Trond Flagstad with Oosik Prince Vebjoern.
Mt McKinley.
Hunter and Mt McKinley seen from the race course.
Foraker, Hunter and Mt McKinley

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mt Redoubt

Mt Redoubt erupted 19 times in 18 days. This is a picture of Mt Redoubt from Anchorage taken just days before it blew the first time. The clearly visible steam plume in this picture rises to about 15000 ft. Since this photo was taken, Mt Redoubt has been cloaked in clouds and ash and we have not been able to "enjoy" the spectacle.

Photo by Susanne Kruse.

I was skiing when the ash was coming down. It only lasted 10 minutes. My skis went from pretty fast to extremely slow in a few minutes. That's all it took for a thin layer of ash to cover everything. Fortunately, we only got a dusting. But it was enough to turn the fresh snow gray. Here is a shot of my tire-tracks in the driveway upon returning home.

After this, the snow will melt very fast because of the increased heat absorption of the darker surface of the snow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Arctic to Indian - March 2009

Arctic to Indian - 16.5 miles
March 14th, 2009

The Arctic to Indian traverse crosses the Chugach State Park East of Anchorage. It is a 16.5 miles mellow ski from Arctic Valley North of Anchorage through the woods of the Ship Creek drainage and over the Indian Pass to the Indian Valley on the Turnagain Arm South of Anchorage.

I joined Chris, Danielle, Mitch, Colleen, Sarah, Erin and Lee for the traverse on a beautiful March day with soft powder and great conditions.

The group skiing up along the Ship Creek
Rest stop along the Ship Creek.
Chris showing the fine art of Beaver house skiing.

Lee talking a tumble while trying out a short-cut.
The upper part of South Fork Ship Creek looking North.
On the Indian Pass looking South towards the Indian Valley

And then on one of the fun downhills about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, I overestimated the strength of my recently operated knee and my current skiing abilities. An "emergency" stop ended in a wipeout and wrenched knee. Good thing my friends had an avalanche probe and plenty of duct-tape. With this splint I managed to ski out under my own power; otherwise we may have had to call for a rescue.

My doctor tells me it is a partially torn and separated MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) and ruptured miniscus. So now I will be suffering for my stupidity for the next couple of months or so. I hope surgery will not be necessary!