Here's a quick hit of pictures from a few outings on Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula these past two weekends. The first was with a new group of partners, all hard-ass skiers, a couple with Olympic credentials. We had a great day on **** and made the most of the conditions at hand. The season is rolling but still feels a bit hesitant in really gaining momentum. We had a wet warm up this past week with lots of rain near the alpine. But if you were willing to slog through the mess down low you were rewarded with stable and perfectly acceptable powder skiing. This was certainly, "you don't know until you go" kind of skiing. How sweet it was.
**** delivers again
Rob, Lars and Alex are all game for some exercise so we opted for a longish tour out to **** in hopes of finding some good turns along the way to one of my favorite destinations on the Pass. There were no other takers that day so we had our own private playground for a few hours. Here's some of the action.
Silver Lined Rain Clouds
Anthony, Jen, Kyle and I all agreed to meet at our ski cabin near Summit Lake in hopes of finding snow above the disturbingly heavy rain fall the lower elevations have been seeing. Although it's depressing to watch all the wonderful early season snow melt in town, most of us calmed ourselves with the knowledge that snow was falling in the mountains. That didn't stop me from nearly crying as we drove over the pass in 37 degree pissing rain. But as we neared Manitoba the skies mellowed and the rain stopped. We skinned from the car through awful refrozen slushy shit but finally found wonderful powder where we needed it. We pounded out 6,800' of fun before retiring to the cabin for Kyle's chili and some Spanish red.
After packing up the cabin we headed back to the Pass in hopes of having the same luck up high. Not wanting to commit to higher angled slopes right away I suggested a tour up to Taylor Pass to get some exercise and have a look at things. In spite of all the rain, the amount of snow up high was not extreme and there was little natural activity with the exception of the steep wall of The Library where most of the face looked to have slid from point releases up high, filling all the little gullies with debris across the whole expanse.
Once at the pass we decided to make our way up the ridgeline toward the weather station and check conditions on the progressively longer and more committing slopes. We did three runs, each longer than the previous and finally dropped in from the weather vain for the full Monty. There are still some sharks up there but the run was pretty damn fun. Inspite of the rain down low, the frozen slopes in the alders proved to be fun skiing and we were back at the car in just a tick over 4 hours. We certainly made the most of what seemed to be grim conditions.