January 5, 2009

Solstice and the Cold: -55

Wendy and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary (12-22-08) and the holidays back in southcentral Alaska with family. Highlights included family hilarity, and a surprise re-appearance by Wendy, Tommy, and a young husky named Sterling on New Year's eve. Ryan Hokanson and I made plans to attempt a new route on a peak in the Chugach but were foiled by continuous sub-zero temperatures, around minus 20 F in Anchorage (minus 55 F here in Fairbanks). The cold snap continues around the state, with temperatures hovering at minus 40 F here at our house with no end in sight.

As a substitute plan, skiing became the main activity of the holidays. I skiied a day up on Cumulus Mtn. (off Hiland Rd.) with my sister Diana, three days up near my cabin in Gilpatricks (near Moose Pass) with several people, and put in a long day at Turnagain Pass with Ryan and his roommate Jason. The best skiing I found was in some big couloirs, and the all-day alpenglow of the Alaskan midwinter cold made for some spectacular scenery, though I didn't have my camera. Check out Ryan's post with some ski pics from around this time, including the time we went skiing.

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