Monday, February 13, 2012

Early February Update

Finally we have emerged out of deep winter and mercifully into regular winter. It has warmed 40° over the last 2 weeks to take us to the cusp of freezing. The changing of seasons has reinvigorated me. The sun is higher and cars warm up quickly.

The longer days have finally brought after-work skiing. But there still isn't enough daylight to go very far: short midweek leash for now. Stuckagain Heights has been the local neighborhood of choice. The snow was soft and untracked all last week provided you stayed below tree line. The views may be better above tree line, but the skiing is decidedly worse.

Anchorage and the Cook Inlet from Near Point

SAR training is never-ending and Saturday night was dubbed "Shiverfest." Temps dropped down into the high 20's. After a short scenario, it was time to build our winter shelters. Mine: plastic sheet, blue foam, 15° bag, nano puff, down pants, and hot water bottle at my feet. It was more like cozy-fest. I awoke after 9.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Yawn. Stretch. Off to Turnagain for some schuss.

High winds and heavy snow earlier in the week limited our options. We decided to ski Tincan Trees off of Dogshit Ridge. At the trailhead there was about 1" new overnight, no signs of recent wind, and temps in the low 30's. This was a good sign given the instability earlier in the week.

Plenty o' Base

We eased into run #1 and progressively got into more interesting terrain with successive laps. The snow was dense but super fun. There were only a few people out on Sunday mornign and every lap was fresh. Fantastic skiing in this wonderland! Former cliffs were now just steep rollovers. Trees are getting noticeably shorter. The sun even made brief appearances.

Chris Enjoying

As we finished our adult beverages at the car-park. The 1st flakes of the next storm were coming in.

- U.K.

P.S. In the 24 hours since we left: 34" at that ski hill