Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spencer Glacier Crust Ski

Spencer Glacier Crust Ski, May 2nd, 2009
Round trip Portage to Spencer Glacier, ~24 miles
7:30 - 10:30 am.

Another cold and clear night prompted another crust ski up the Placer Valley. This would be my fourth time up the Placer Valley this spring. On previous occasions I has either started too late or had to return early (stupid work commitments). This time I was determined to start early and try to make it to the Spencer Glacier before the crust started breaking down. 30 degrees and clear skies at the starting point indicated that it would be a great day for crust skiing.

Pulling my skis out of the car at the little known access point for late spring Placer Valley crust skiing, I am surprised to see Rachel Steer pull up with the same plan as me. We both enjoyed the superb crust conditions all the way to the Spencer glacier. Especially on the way back down the Placer Valley did we catch some awesome corn snow as the top layer of the crust was just starting to melt.

Spencer Glacier seen across the lake at the terminus of the glacier. Observe the icebergs frozen into the lake ice.
We could safely skate across the lake and all the way up to the toe of the glacier.
Interesting ice-formations at the toe of the glacier.
Rachel catching some rays.
Looking back across the lake at the broken up terminus of the glacier.
Crust skiing past icebergs.
Great corn snow on the return down the Placer Valley.
We got back to the trail head around 10:30 am, just as the crust was starting to break down. It was quite warm - it must have been in the low 50's already.
Panorama across the terminus of the Spencer Glacier.

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