Alaska Road Trip – Day 3


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | May 18, 2010      

For me it is good to be back in California’s High Sierra. It’s been several years since I lived here, but it was amazing how well I still remember the roads, towns, peak names, and choice backcountry spots. The Wildsnow crew, hungry for some turns after many hours of drive time, couldn’t help but have a few well earned Virginia Lakes turns for dinner last night. This morning, more of the same was on the menu for breakfast.

team_may17_skin

Jordan, Lou, and Louie start the skin under storm skies.


A few flurries spit from the sky as we geared up for a south facing couloir directly above the parking lot. Soon we were on our way up the frozen snow in deteriorating weather.

Normally, I don’t think any of us would be overly excited about earning turns in these icy snow conditions, what with the weather closing in. But with Denali coming up, we can’t really pass up a chance for some exercise. So we continued, the gully steepened, the skins broke traction, and out came the crampons.

jordan_may17_crampons

Jordan switching snow gripping tools.

Eventually we ran into frozen slough and avy debris, that didn’t appear to have any chance of thawing, which helped make the call to point them downhill.

louie_may17_ski1

Louie showing good form on rock solid snow.

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Lou with thick clouds as a backdrop.

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Louie finishing the morning in style.

Soon back at the truck, as the snow changed to drizzle, we packed and headed north. The Sunshine State has not been kind with her weather thus far, but we’ve got a lot of miles ahead of us and I expect somewhere a bluebird corn day awaits (though from the looks of the weather overall western forecast we might be packing in some miles to find clear sky).

Virginia Lakes trailhead, with Dunderberg rising behind.

Virginia Lakes trailhead, with Dunderberg rising behind. Too bad the weather didn't go well, but ever onward.



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Comments

9 Responses to “Alaska Road Trip – Day 3”

  1. Nick May 18th, 2010 8:44 am

    Nice! looks like fun. great photos

  2. Rob May 18th, 2010 9:09 am

    Hey what’s the mount point on Jordan’s Kilos?

  3. Chris May 18th, 2010 9:30 am

    Looks like by sunday the weather should be breaking up here in Washington. drag your feet and hit some volcanoes in oregon.

  4. Dougg May 18th, 2010 2:00 pm

    The Sunshine State is Florida. The snow-skiing sucks there I hear. Cali is the Golden State.

  5. Jordan May 18th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Rob,
    I believe they are just mounted on the normal boot centerline.
    J

  6. Jim May 18th, 2010 3:24 pm

    Are you using 2 Whippets?

  7. Jordan May 18th, 2010 3:28 pm

    Yep, not too steep, but pretty damn icy. We all like the dagger method of self arrest, i think at least a couple people on our expedition have made use of that method and works pretty well.

  8. Caleb May 18th, 2010 6:32 pm

    Golden State. Duh. Sorry California, must be why you are withholding the sun from us.

  9. Mark May 18th, 2010 10:36 pm

    Sorry you guys didn’t get the corn that place will often produce in spring. It’s been a weird season. Used to live on the (Sierra) eastside (awesome BC corn harvesting), live on the westside now (not so awesome), but I’m moving to CO this summer!! (the Bicentennial State – apparently awesome BC skiing if you can avoid burial). See you after a safe trip to Alaska.

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