February 17, 2012

An Orange Colorado = 3 C's - Berthoud Pass, CO

Current Danger Rose
Front Range
2 / 17 / 2012

Had a wonderful day in the backcountry today near Berthoud Pass with Brian.  Friday am the CAIC released a special statement through Monday (see below) highlighting the Considerable   Avalanche Danger across the entire state, following the second avalanche related death in less then a week.

See CAIC accident reports here
 When I see the orange Considerable its time for the 3 c's:  careful snowpack evaluation, cautious rout-finding and conservative decision-making.   It's possible to enjoy yourself out there.  (Just ask Brian or see a pic below)  Please be careful out there!!!         

Special Statement 2/17/2012 - 2/20/2012
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is issuing a Special Avalanche Statement for the mountains of Colorado this morning. This Special Statement will remain in effect through the upcoming weekend.

There have been two avalanche fatalities in Colorado since February 13th. This brings avalanche fatalities to 6 for the season. Over the last week seven people have been caught in avalanches. Two people have been seriously injured and required hospital care.  Very large avalanches have been reported across the state.
This trend is expected to continue through the holiday weekend. Do not let the upcoming holiday weekend or the nice weather in any way fool you into thinking the avalanche conditions are anything but very serious across Colorado.

Brian finding the Fun in Conservative Terrain - Berthoud Pass

February 7, 2012

Epic Dump to Touch and Go Conditions - The Chugach

AK oh AK how I love thou snow...
now please now please stop hogging it... and lend some to my CO.

Days 1 & 2:
  • epic reso riding and night skiing after reaching the bar's limit on Fizzes:)
Days 3, 4 & 5:
  • Subaru driveway skating, ski touring in the summit lake and turnagain pass sectors of the Chugach, followed by drinks and eats with AK peeps in Girdwood

So a week in AK proved to be all but long enough, especially with the complicated weather patterns they have been in. The entire month of January the average temp in Anchorage was 2.7 degrees! Now that's a little cold. However things warmed up once we arrived :) The snow also continued to dump. The night we flew in 30+ inches fell at Turnagain Pass and Alyeska ski resort. The next day an additional 2 feet dropped. Making Friday like Thursday, a mandatory resort day. While enjoying Vodka fizz's (secret recipe...read at bottom of page) at the mountain top bar at the end of the day you could hear the buzz from many Girdwood locals: things like "that was the best day this season, shit that was the best day in 30 years"!!! It surely hit the top on my list for best reso day ever! I'm pretty sure the word epic was created for the riding we experienced last Friday! I will leave it at that because trying to explain it wouldn't do a justice. Another way to look at it....it was so good I didn't take a single photo:)

After the dump we were itching to get out in the backcountry, however stability remained an issue the entire time, due to things like: 120 mile an hour winds recorded by Sunburst's weather station, temperature increases and heavy wet snow. We played it conservative with lower angles and lower elevations. At last it was AK, where even the low angle stuff is awesome!

We return in less then a month for 2 weeks! Heading to Thompson's Pass and Valdez! Bring it! Hopefully a few more ski pics will be provided from next trip, either it was to much fun or just too much Grey / Flat light.

A look up Glacier Creek at Milk Glacier - Girdwood Valley (surrounded by 7 permanent glaciers)

Seattle Creek from across the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet

Mad Dawg look or Chewing? - Summit Lake sector
We toured Manitoba peak in the background on Day 5

Spirit Walker Pk recon pic 1: from Day 5 tour on Manitoba Pk

Goofin or Petrified of the sketchy bridge crossing? - Crossing Canyon Creek on the way to Manitoba Pk
Also joined by friends Gina and Chip - Fellow NMers

Caught the full moon rising over Manitoba Ridge - after a long tour up Manitoba peak. Congrats to Gina for her first split board tour :)

Spirit Walker recon pic 2: From Day 3 tour on Fresno Ridge
Conditions permitting would be nice to visit the spirit walker in March

Sunset Over the Arm - Day 6 as we head to the airport

PS: The 7 Glaciers Restaurant (Alyeska mountain top bar)...aka 7-G's....well anyway Kristin has cracked the secret recipe! After years of attempts by her and friends and drunken begging for hints from cute waitresses, she did it back in Golden. I was able to test it at 0700am after getting off from work. And i concur, its been cracked!!!!