It was sad to spend the first part of Spring break ill rather than climing ice and mixed up at Eklutna Glacier with Jon Cobb as I had planned. However, later on in the break Ryan Hokanson and I got together to try and get an adventure in. We started by heading to Chickaloon, and Ryan's cabin, and climbed a little on the Chickaloon River. This was also my first snowmachine-borne backcountry adventure.
Above: Ryan and the machines about 10 miles up the Chickaloon River just short of the narrows.
Above: Dune Creek Pillar and friends.
Above: Ryan enjoying some mixed near the Dune Creek Pillar.
Above: Gorgeous peaks on our way North through the Majestic Valley.
Following a night in Chickaloon, we then moved on North to Black Rapids to attempt a ski descent of Mt. Gakona in a day from the road. Here is a link to Ryan's post on our Canwell Glacier trip. We wanted to go ski Mt. Gakona in a day from the road, but were shut down by a gnarly icefall for Gakona, and bailed on our consolation prize due to unsafe avalanche conditions (top 10 cm release on pit preparation), on a large (enough) open slope. There was also a secondary weak layer presenting the possibility of additional propagation at about the 2 1/2 foot mark.
Above: Mount Shand and Moffit as seen from about 10 miles up the Canwell. This is where Ryan and I intend to head for our May-June Hayes Range expedition, getting psyched and fit and hoping for good weather!
Above: Ryan in the pit of despair. No turns for us. We did have a super fun day out though, and got to take a look at a lot of different terrain. It was a bit of a time warp to be 20 miles off the road with minimal effort, looking at a lot of good ski terrain, albeit without a ton of snow this year. Following this trip, Ryan headed off to Valdez to get a week plus of skiing amidst some large snowfall.