It rained like hell all September and into October. The snow line came down and we got excited. It warmed and the snow line went up and we lamented. Up and down for weeks, but the storms came to an end and the high pressure moved in. There was enough snow to "ski" South of Anchorage, but around town and North the mountains were mostly bare save 1-2" on North facing slopes.
I wanted this October to be like last October with snow aplenty up high, but it was not to be. Fortunately, I've passed the point in my life where I act like Pouty von Poutypants every time the weather fails to do exactly as I wish. So it was time to reassess.
Skiing was out, but cold and clear made for excellent hiking: no mud, no bugs, and sunglasses were needed - a rare trifecta in this part of the world! Above 5,000' things were still a bit snowy, but there were plenty of new-to-me 4,000ers that patiently beckoned.
|Hiking Elliot (Williwaw in the background)|
|Rebuiding a Forest|
|I will Never Complain about Coach Again|
After drying out the drenched gear, it was back to blue skies, high places, and beautiful sunsets.
|Anchorage and Cook Inlet from Kanchee|
|Redoubt from "The Dome"|
|The Alaska Range from 4-Mile|
|Biking the 4-Mile|
The weather held through the weekend so Ross, Brian, and I convened in Eklutna to attempt the East Twin: 2,000' of trail, 2,000' of steep tundra, 1,000' of Class 3 and 4. A sunny south-facing route with air temps in the low 20's made for an excellent day in the mountains. We got off route in as soon as we got off the tundra, but no one seemed overly concerned so we kept climbing. The route quickly got into the 5th Class realm; we had climbing gear but elected to head back due to the late hour and uncertain route ahead.
Brian hooked up with another group and made a successful summitted but returning the car park well after sunset. Next time I'll stick to the planned route.
|Looking Down 4,500' to Eklutna Lake|
|Eklutna Lake and Bold Peak|