Our Haines ski basecamp trip is coming to a close. School officially started two days ago. I’m stretching out my spring break as long as I can, by playing hookey for a few days. As I sit in my tent, the walls are quivering from 40mph gusts of wind.
If the weather holds, we are going to fly out Friday afternoon. The last few days have been clear weather, so I’ve been skiing hard, and haven’t spent much time in front of the screen, so blog posts are a little behind. I’ll be filing a few more trip reports in the next few days, detailing the last days of the trip.
After the first sunny days of the trip, our camp became socked in for a few days. The storm was mellow, although we stayed away from skiing because of the whiteout.
During a small break in the storm we took a extended exploratory tour of some areas that we hadn’t checked out yet. We climbed towards a small ridge above camp, but were turned around by a touchy windslab. Cutting our losses, we enjoyed some great pow turns next to seracs back towards camp.
After lunch, we turned up the glacier, and headed toward the peaks at the head of the basin. We climbed next to more beautifull seracs, and into a small basin ringed with spires, reminiscent of the Frey valley in Argentina. Clouds were moving in and out, but in one of the breaks we spied an impressive pinnacle to the south, across a massive valley glacier. The steep north face begged to be skied. We filed it away in our minds along with all the other amazing runs we’ve seen this trip. Next to the pinnacle was a large, more low angled summit, that appeared to be one of the highest peaks in our little area.
After stopping for views and lunch, we continued up to the ridge ringing the cirque. We climbed a short, tight couloir, that reached the top of the ridge. Peering over the edge, we spied even more impressive mountains and glaciers — endless! The clouds were moving in so we skied the couloir, found our way through flat light on the glacier, and made it back to camp.
The next day dawned stormy and cloudy with a fair amount of snow accumulation. The weather report indicated the storm would last for a few days, hopefully breaking so we could fly out. We stayed up late in the cozy cook tent, swapping stories and dreaming about future trips.