Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Early Bird Special

Placer Valley Crust Ski, April 28th, 2009

With the encouraging weather forecast I decided to get up at 5:30 am and try the crust skiing at Portage. I skied on relatively good crust for about two hours and was off the snow before 9:30 am when the snow was starting to melt. Some sloughs are starting to open, and the snow is starting to get sun-cupped - otherwise very good crust skiing. And there is no sign on ash-fall from Mt Redoubt. Up on the Skookum glacier I started punching thought he crust already at 8:30. It seems that it froze harder on the valley bottom than up on the glacier.

Looking up the Placer valley. Skookum valley is the first left hand valley entering the Placer valley.
Looking down the Placer valley towards the Turnagain arm. The prominent mountain in the center of this photo is Blueberry hill.
Skookum Valley.
The prominent peak at the head of Skookum Glacier is Carpathian Peak (5856 ft).
Sunrise on the Skookum Glacier.
The Skookum Glacier.
Looking down the Skookum valley from the toe of the Skookum glacier.
Southern panorama showing Skookum valley on the left and Placer valley on the right. The pronounced saddle on the far ridge (in the middle on the photo) leads over to Center Creek. The highpoints on the ridge on the right include Kickstep Mountain and Tincan Peak (popular back-country skiing peaks accessed from the Turnagain Pass.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Powerline Crust Skiing April 2009

Powerline Valley Crust Ski, April 21st, 2009

On this Tuesday moring I headed out for the first real crust ski of the year. The conditions in the Powerline Valley are quite decent considering the less than average snowpack, Redoubt volcanic ash, and recent wind events.

This panorama shows the Powerline Valley looking West. The photo is taken from above Green Lake. In the center is Peak 4630 and right of that is the East face of Ptarmigan. Anchorage can be seen in the far distance at the right hand side of the panorama.

Redoubt volcanic ash seen here along the South Fork of the Campbell Creek.
More volcanic ash. Recent wind event had concentrated the ash in low spots. The skiing was quite decent as long as one stayed away from these ash-traps.
The Ptarmigans were out in force this morning.
The Ptarmigan Peak S-Couloir.