Monday, February 8, 2010

AK Update '010

My recent absence from the cyber world does not equate to a lack of adventure. We have achieved much in the preceding weeks. The Maker has provided us with motivation and safe conditions. Conversely Old Nick has cursed us with poor route selection and short days.

First, I will update you, gentle reader, on our preparations for MTV Alaskan Shore: Neacola Edition. A production schedule has been set: April 16-25. A site has been selected and the necessary contracts are in place. The target drainage has yet to see the shadow of a human. This lends to multiple 1st ascents and descents and trascents. I have also finished a draft for the Hans Saari grant. Our copy editors are in the process of reviewing the document as the deadline draws near.

One fortnight ago, GB6K and I endeavored to schuss some new terrain. We headed South of Turnagain Pass and ascended the Silvertip Creek Drainage. We espied Twin Peaks and made off for them posthaste. The buttress was scoured and the angle continued to escalate. The damned black hound began to get the shakes. From our aerie we enjoyed 3,000' of continuous steep skiing back to the motor coach.

Just last week, again GB6K and the Uncle decided to find the steepest, shallowest, shadiest snow pack. We aimed for Madonna's Tits but ended up on the North Face of Pioneer. Blue ice forced a deviation from the drainage and our detour led into ever steepening terrain with ever thinning snow pack. We descended and salvaged the day by sending a booter at Hatcher and ticking off a steep North facing couloir with an intimidating entrance. 2 ranges 1 day.

3 weeks of high pressure produced a bounty of hoar frost the size of quarters. Queue the blizzard: 12 hours, 60 mph wind, 2" of moisture. The dangerous conditions are no excuse for the situation I found myself in come Saturday morn: Nordic gear. Alas! I donned the neon lycra, yellow tinged spectacles, and skull cap with pompom and set out to experience the Great White North. I gave witness to nature's version of David versus Goliath: wolverine versus rabbit. Lo! This time there would be no victory for David. I took the death of the Lepus hard and ale was my crutch.

I leave you all with this message of hope: Be good to yourselves.... and each other

- Condor

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