Post subject: Last two years in Alaska...... (Lots of Pictures)
Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:44 pm
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:45 am Posts: 21 Location: Fairbanks
Hello all. Having enjoyed everyone's pictures and adventures when I should be productive I finally decided to post a sampling of my last two years in AK. I bought my first split three seasons ago, a 162 K2 Panoramic, and have had some great times. Going to school in Fairbanks offers limited riding but I am always willing to drive.
In roughly 6 hours I can be in amazing spots such as Valdez, Hatcher Pass or Turnagain. Closer to home we have the Delta Range which offers great riding at times but with an often faceted snowpack. Check snowsavage's TR for some beta on the area.
This TR contains non-splitboarding content. Scroll quickly if needed.
First tracks of the 12/13 season came in Hatcher Pass in the middle of November.
Better tracks came a month later in Turnagain. Camped out on Center Ridge in Turnagain Pass.
Spines of Tincan Mtn.
Looking across the valley we saw a huge avy that had ripped during the night.
With elevated avy conditions we kept it chill.
The floorless tent worked well.
Fairbanks has great cross-country ski trails. I try to skate ski as much as possible to stay in shape and help my split-ski technique.
The University has an ice climbing wall.
Getting into spring the crew decided a weekend in Valdez was in order. After classes on Friday we headed south. Here is just some of the gear from the large group that went.
Encountering icy roads, progress was slow and we had to deal with two flats on the sled trailer around 2:00AM. Here we are unloading sleds to change the tires.
Connections in Valdez found us a little cabin for the weekend which was perfect.Found at 19-mile we had quick access to both Thompson Pass and across the Lowe River.
Others heard Valdez was the place to be and also showed up. Here is the whole crew on Saturday morning. Way to much going on here!
Limited visibility prevented us from partaking but it was good to check things out.
The road run you can do on the switchback up towards Thompson Pass is great fun for a solid warm up.
A bit of blubird allowed for some flying.
We decided dropping in to the right of the cornice would be a good time.
Getting there required some ninja skills.
Back in Fairbanks camping out.
Later in April six of us headed back to McCalum Glacier which is in the Delta Range to see if we could find some turns. The plan was to have the "49 Wagon" - (an old RMK with to many miles on it) pull us back to the glacier where we could camp.
Here we are pondering if this is a good decision. Turns out the sled could pull all of us while on the flat. Once we got into steeper terrain we cut back to three and made two trips.
Once camp was set up turns were to be had.
Always have to post the mid-fall shot.
This is the way to set up the tent. Complete with shelving!
Toured into the valley the next day.
Decided the peak to the right looked good.
Hey, what is that?
Turns out to be an ice cave!
Part of the group went and skied this.
Eventually needing to bootpack, we made our way up to the peak.
Good rest spot.
While we did not summit, we got some great views.
Getting ready to drop.
Second day the wind came up.
Fun times on the way out.
Had some daylight left so we practiced digging ice anchors and belaying off a cornice.
Say this party wagon on the way home. Alway like to see the sled value/truck value more that one.
With school over I headed to Anchorage for an internship. Here we got a day of touring in Hatcher Pass.
Was stoked to see this May 18th. I knew this meant there was pow in the hills
Yep, had pow for the whole weekend!
Still not done. May 27th
Riding in shorts May 31st.
And a week later.
Summer means salmon fishing! Here we go to Seward to find some reds.
And more salmon....
And glaciers in Valdez.
And more salmon. Silvers this time.
September 17th. First snow!!!!
Season gets started again in Hatcher Pass around Thanksgiving.
Which means getting into ski shape.
And getting the Subaru in adventure shape.
Loaded for fun. Headed to Turnagain and Hatcher Pass for a week.
With limited coverage and high avy danger we stayed in the trees.
But still had fun in the soft.
Met up with friends for another day of low angle skiing.
And then went to Hatcher Pass to see what the deal was.
Finding a bit more stability we picked it up some.
View from the top.
Back in Fairbanks again. Here we skied down the Tananna river. Great fun!
We brought a sleeping bad for some intense chillin in the spring sun.
And then it was Springbreak 2014. Loaded the sleds and Subaru and headed south to find good snow.
We lucked out. Turnagain had just five feet fall the previous week and it broke bluebird!
And promptly put it to use.
Did not end well.....
Got up to Hatcher Pass and looked at an old hut.
Hatcher Pass again.
And then for the close call. This looked fun and mellow so we decided to go for it.
Third rider triggered an avy large enough to do some damage. He was swept through a chute and amazingly did not hit any rocks. Came to rest buried to the shoulders. Everything turned out ok but we as a group took a step back to think about our decision making process.
And just this weekend headed out to look at some ice caves I had heard about.