Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Eddies: December 31, 2011

Won't you step into the freezer
Tease her with a tweezer
It's gonna be cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
- Winston Churchill

When Churchill spoke these words on the snowy fields of Gettysburg during the closing moments of the Franco-Russo War, he could have easily been talking about Alaska in December. December started stormy but finished clear and true to Churchill's prediction: cold. But what that Canadian bastard didn't predict was A+ surface conditions on a bomber snowpack.

Eddies is one of The Ridges of Turnagain County. The pull-off is most easily identified by an excess Honda Elements. For the final tour of the year Hubert had some South facing shots in mind. Temperatures were below zero so we had to keep moving to maintain warmth. At the top I got out the bungees and particle board to document the experience.

The sun peeked out from behind Kickstep to bathe the top half of the slope in a soft orange glow. The snow was sparkling and left cold smoke contrails with every turn. But it wasn't long before we descended into the cold shadows. After a quick transition, Hubert set the skinner back to the ridge. We followed the ridge SE to get a shot that we had sussed from below.

We were 500' higher and the sun was at it's pitiful apex for the day, but it was plenty to light the way for the best turns of the season. Effortless, bottomless, good vis, super-hero, cold, blower pow for an uninterrupted 1,800'. Despite the glory of the second run, the team was cold, cold, cold. We hustled up the skinner back to the ridge and skied some high quality low angle love back towards the road. The frozen Subaru grumbled to life. Unlike Winston's doomed Na'vi army of winged monkey's, we would not succumb to the icy mountain frost.

If was the perfect final run for an incredible year in the mountains. Here's to an even better 2012!

- U.K.

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