Over the last few months I’ve had several requests from friends to send out some photos and post up a new TR. I’ve generally been ignoring these requests. Not because I have not been riding. I’ve been riding heavily and I gotta tell ya, after 3 winters of not living in the mountains I am so damn happy to be living in a ski town again, especially when AK is having such a phenomenal winter. I have not posted any TR’s mostly because I have been too busy but also because I have only been tooling around a well-traveled area trying to learn the ins and outs of a new place. Another reason is because most of what I have been riding is terrain that receives a ton of traffic and I feel like I won’t be adding much that has not already been covered on some blog or site out there. Still I have amassed some decent photos and now that we are approaching March I figured I would honor the requests for a TR with a ‘best of’ picture show that could serve as the Savage mid-season update.
The Turnagain Pass area has received over 10ft. of snow since February 1st. There have certainly been a lot of down days as a result of weather lately and the flat light during a storm or heavy clouds is, for the most part, a total shutdown. These are two things AK is famous for and sitting around waiting does not make me complain too much, especially when I see what people down south are dealing with in terms of snowpack. I was complaining about being weathered in to a friend in Tahoe the other day and he said “at least its better than ‘Lake No-Snow’” and that helped me to not take the epic snow I have been riding for granted.
As soon as the sun comes out around here so do the people. The easily accessible backcountry gets skied fast and you gotta be on it to get some of the more aesthetic big lines first. Like anywhere new you gotta learn how to get around and figure out your strategy. It’s been hard sometimes. I keep seeing lines I want to ride and can’t figure the best way to access them. There is one particular spot that took me 3 failed attempts of trying to figure out the route-finding to access. And then, just when I think I have found myself somewhere outside-the-box I’ll look across a drainage and see tracks coming down the sickest, steepest, fluted AK shit you’ve ever seen. People here get after it and there are a lot of folks who go straight for the knar and just send it. Mind-blowing. But this is IT, it’s the ‘North Shore’, it’s ‘Mavericks’, the world’s greatest wave; No it’s the Chugach; the pinnacle of steep powder skiing and I am living it (watching the flakes fall out of the sky as I sit and type this out!).
Ok, so that’s my intro/disclosure
I have organized my photos into 4 segments 1.Approaches 2.Lines I have had the privilege of riding 3. Action, and 4.Scenery (aka lines I want to ride!)
I’ll let most of the photos speak for themselves from here.
APPROACHES (a select few pictures of getting there)
SOME LINES I HAVE BEEN GETTIN’ ON (we’ve had a few powder days this winter thus far) (dropp) (my track from a Monday morning that I ditched work….. ooooooppps….)
ACTION (skiing with friends and watching people get some)
(big vertical drop) (waste deep in the Elevator Shaft couloir)
(got down the mountain looked back and saw this dude crushing it)
SCENERY (mountains people have been skiing that I want to ride plus other odds and ends)
The snowpack here has been exceptionally stable following a few days of settlement, but there have been some big slides too! Check out this natural that went recently on the wind-loaded flank of a couloir: not something you want to trigger. I am calling it at least a 20’ crown.
(knar-crown) I’ll leave you with this nice sunset photo, taken as I was about to drop into my final run of the day …one of those days when the snow was so good you just have to head back up for another skin…
So there’s my stab at rubbing it in to all you suckas down south. Of course the season is only ½ over so you still got time to sit down there and pray or head up. With or without you I’ll be out there. I’ll post again as warranted.