Xc Skiing on Ice-the Crescent Saddle Cabin Trip

12 02 2014

We had originally reserved the Crescent Saddle cabin in November, when backcountry skiing in February seemed realistic. While Georgia seems to be getting snow, we don’t have much in Alaska……We’re having the strangest winter I’ve EVER seen. Temps in the 50’s and corn @ Alyeska in January, loads of rain, and lots of sun too. Temperatures have finally settled to normal and we decided to get out of town and head into the cabin as a xc ski trip instead of backcountry ski trip. The trail up to Carter Lake was glaciated, but not bad to walk on with ice grippers. When we got to Crescent lake this is what we encountered…..Image

The lake had frozen in many spots with these ice waves! It made skiing challenging 🙂 There were also a few spots with completely clear/flat ice-perfect for ice skating. But they were far and few between on the east side of the lake.

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There was wind drifted snow 1-2 inches deep too. That afternoon we skied to the west side of the lake-more snow (less ice) at first, then things drastically changed to glare ice and pretty much no snow….It was a cornucopia of conditions 🙂

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Dan skiing by with headlamps on his wrists.

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Ghost of Dan, aurora, and ski poles. Headlamps on his ankles.

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We didn’t get the aurora show everyone else got, due to steep mountains surrounding the lake, but we did get a little bit.

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Early the next morning the aurora came out again, dancing with faint pink & purples as the lake ice cracked and groaned with sounds of growing. Overnight temps were around 0 to -5f.

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Dan & Ben headed back towards Carter Lake. Another sunny, bluebird day. Can’t complain about the Vitamin D!Image

Another sea of wavy ice.

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