The Crescent Saddle Cabin Ski Trip

31 01 2012

Our thermometer bottomed out at -25F on the ski in, so lets just say it was colder than that. At 12:30 AM, after 4 hours of skiing by stars-it was so cold  our headlamps we nearly useless because our breath clouded the air in front of us-we finally arrived at the Crescent Saddle Cabin. It took us a bit longer than we anticipated since we had to break trail across Carter and Crescent Lakes, unable to find a snowmachine track to follow across the lakes, and we brought heavy loads with a ton of gear for lofty plans that should’ve got axed at the trailhead 🙂 We stayed up till 4:30 AM trying to warm up the cabin, before we crawled into our sleeping bags wearing every layer we had with us. The cabin was 7F degrees next to the wood stove and the walls still frosty.

Everyone’s favorite. Hoarfrost on the toilet.

Feeding the fire all night we managed to get it up to a balmy 27F degrees by the time we dragged ourselves out of bed. Walls still frosty. Dan, Heidi, and I headed out for a tour up the saddle between Crescent and Kenai lakes, continuing on up the mountain on the left, while Lee and Jon stayed behind to cut more (much needed) firewood and keep the fire going. Daytime temps warmed up to  -5F, almost a heat wave!

Dan skinning up.

It was a bluebird day with fresh powder. We had a blast making the only tracks on the mountain!

Heidi skiing.Dan skiing.Heidi making turns.Dan cruising through the trees.

The skiing was amazing! When we arrived back at the cabin Lee and Jon had managed to get the cabin up to a reasonable temperature so our beer could unfreeze 🙂 Actually, by early evening as the temperatures dropped again outside, the cabin was warm enough to layer down to just our long underwear and the walls defrosted. Success! 

Lee and Parker headed across Crescent Lake on the way home.

 

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Colorado Creek Cabin

26 04 2011

Sometimes, even the best planned trips, don’t go as planned. Six of us were set to spend a four day weekend at the Shrode Lake cabin in Prince William Sound for a weekend of skiing, kayaking, hot tubbing in our portable hot tub, and two kegs of Midnight Sun finest. It’s fair to say we weren’t planning on packing light for this trip, to say the least 🙂 But, at the last minute, gale force winds and 10 ft seas kept us out of the Sound, so we checked the weather around the state, quickly repacked our gear (much less of it!) and headed north to Fairbanks where warm, sunny skis greeted us. We spent the night in Fairbanks with Katie and Will, and then the six of us headed north to the White Mountains and the Colorado Creek cabin.

The trail is about 14 miles each way, mostly in and out of a forest of spruce trees-many that had been through a forest fire in recent years. Although, once you rise in elevation,get near the cabin, the views open up to the beautiful white mountains. 

Sabrina, Parker, and Jon headed in through burned spruce trees.

Lots of windswept snow in the pass above the cabin.

Dan (in the sleeping bag), Sabrina, Jon, and Parker suntanning-Alaska style!

Lots of chill-axing went on once we reached the cabin.

Dan reading in the evening light.

The White Mountains.

Dan and Parker skiing off into the sunset.

Sabrina showing off her ninja moves at sunset.

It ended up to be a great last minute xc ski trip-allbeit not the backcountry ski trip we had planned. Next year!





While you were sleeping…last night’s aurora

10 03 2011

The northern lights put on quite a show last night! Lots of dancing, and, at one point the northern lights stretched overhead 180 degrees from over downtown Anchorage to O’malley peak. I took these pics from the Anchorage overlook at Glenn Alps.

Aurora over O’Malley Peak.

Aurora with east Anchorage city lights.

O’Malley PeakRumor has it the northern lights are supposed to be active again tonight!





Pow day in Turnagain

23 02 2011

We’ve had below average amounts of snow this winter in Southcentral Alaska. It finally snowed late last week, so Saturday Jon and I took advantage of the fresh powder, bluebird skies, and warm temperatures (it warmed up from 4F at my house to 20F+ at the parking lot) in Turnagain and went skiing at Tincan. Suprisingly, it wasn’t crowded.

Jon on the skin up.

Jon with Tincan Proper. We did have gusts of wind. But the snow was light, fluffy, Utah-like powder!

 

That’s what I’m talkin’ bout! 

 

Jon’s face says it all!

My new/used set-up-the Line Prophet 100’s.  Thanks to Andres, Jim, Cathy, Sam and everyone else that helped me pull this together!





Lost Lake and the Clemens Cabin

4 02 2011

View from the Clemens Cabin.

Friday night Kasey, Jon, Sabrina, Parker and I headed in to meet Dan at the Clemens cabin.  Kasey and I skinned up the trail, while Jon and Sabrina used ice cleats to negotiate the icy snowmachine trail up to the cabin.  I had to eventually take my skis off (had a problem with one of my skins) and hiked up too. That’s when I had the “Amber Moment” 🙂 Somehow, I wound up falling in the creek while putting on my backpack (it was heavy and threw me off balance.) Oops!

Unfortunately, while we were gone from Dan’s Subaru, someone broke into it at the Lost Lake trailhead and stole my entire backcountry setup between 9:30 pm Friday Jan 28, 2011 and 12:15 pm Jan 30, 2011. My Icelantic Nomad skis (size 168). They’ve been mounted twice, once with Fritschis, and once with Dynafit Verticals that were on them when they got stolen. Also my orange Black Diamond skins that were on them, as well as my blue Garmont Megaride AT/Randonee boots (size 26.5) with Sole Dean Karnazes insoles.  Also missing was Dan’s black Stillwater Nordic Racing fleece vest, an old avalanche shovel, and Kasey’s skate ski poles.  If you have any info on the whereabouts of these items please call me at 907-244-2688 or the Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453. I just want my stuff back!

Other than that gigantic loss, we had a great weekend in the mountains.

Clemens Cabin

Saturday morning Dan and Kasey ended up heading in to Lost Lake to get some teleturns in, while Jon, Sabrina, Parker and I went for a xc ski on the snowmachine trails. We quickly found some nearby hills that we decided to try our luck at teleturns in our leather boots and fishscales.

Jon

Jon crashing

Sabrina

Faceplant!

Then Sabrina and Jon decided to huck a cornice on their xc ski gear. I was paparazzi.

Unfortunately, I failed. I missed the shot of Jon mid-air.

Parker

Me

Pano of the mountains near Lost Lake.

City lights of Seward and Big Dipper.

 

Seward city lights lighting up the clouds, Kasey and I used our headlamps to light up the trees.








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