Summer corn skiing in Whittier! June 3

Earlier this week, it was one of those odd weather patterns with overcast skies in Anchorage and bluebird in the sound . . . rare, but it happens and it's always nice to have the good weather locally! So, after a morning of drinking coffee on the porch, riding Winner Creek in the bright sunshine, and trying out my new stylie blender, Heidi and I made the trek to Whittier to see what was there to ski. We ended up heading into the snowmachine area to one of the most amazing viewpoints in southcentral. It was so hot that we napped and relaxed up high for about an hour and a half before skiing a super fun run with skis on to the car! A nice waterfront dinner, and we were satisfied with the day!!!

Heidi on the way up . . .
Blackstone Bay - beautiful!

The rest of Prince William Sound

Extreme napping! This has got to be one of the most pleasant spots ever on a sunny day!

Me in my happy place . . . best part is we have a super fun ski in front of us!

The windbreaker, goggles, gloves, and bandana came off quickly - it was sooo hot!

Heidi getting ready to make tele turns!

Heidi incoming . . .
Happy Heidi - we'd forgotten how much fun skiing is!!!!

Our ship awaits . . .

Of course, it is spring, so we got to alder bash a little bit!

We rewarded ourselves with dinner on the shore . . .

Can't beat the view! Mmmm mmm good!!!

Overall, a great day! Sometimes it's crazy to think we actually live here amongst all these amazing places!!!!

Random summer images

It would seem most folks around here have been on the summer program for awhile now, but with work and the Wrangells trip, this has been my first chance to get out and play on dry ground!!! It has been beautiful!!!!

Heidi on Crow Pass . . . not fully ready for biking from the top, but in pretty good shape where it's dry! So beautiful up high though!!!

Hooray for wildflowers!

Nora and Chrissy on Bird Ridge . . . taking a quick break on the way down so my knees don't explode!!! Views of the arm never really get old!!!
Nothing like the joys of the "quality of life ride" - otherwise known as Winner Creek, such a great backyard classic! I love being able to ride from my doorsteop! Even though it can get annoying (for those of us who could use some additional arm strength!), the hand tram is pretty cool, and better than swimming Glacier Creek :-)
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Bold Peak, Sat May 30

Well, I had just gotten home from work on Thursday and was feeling a bit tired, but Sherrie had the idea to spend a long day out going up Bold Peak, and the temptation was too much to resist. It's been forever since I've gotten to spend a long day in the mountains with that crazy lady and I miss her!
Check out Sherrie's blog for the same story with different photos!

After I finally mobilized from my house, they picked up a bike for Ryan, and morning logistics were handled, we left at about 10am, just as the Eklutna Challenge was getting ready to kick off - thankfully we were ahead of the bike leg so we weren't sharing the path with a bunch of racers!

After our bike in, the trail starts up the East Fork of the Eklutna River (Ryan, Doug, Sherrie)

Sherrie with the E Fork

Ryan and Doug part way up Stiver's Gulley

Sherrie headed up the valley - good-bye spring, hello winter!

And then full-on winter! I think we may have pushed the limits of running shoes on this one! I don't have a summit shot cuz it was too cold and miserable up there!
But the good news is that we got to butt slide much of the way down - who knew glissading was so much fun?!!? Doug incoming . . .

Heading back down to spring!

Probably not necessary, but super nice to have the fixed lines! Sherrie headed down . . .

Looking down Stiver's Gulley to the E Fork Eklutna River
So green and beautiful!!! Given the weather up top, we decided it's a proper miracle that we didn't get rained on for the whole descent and bike ride out!!!

Oh scree . . . such a lovely travel meadium ;-)

One of the locals . . . this black bear was intent upon coming up gulley so we got out of the way and let him pass!Almost done with the scree nonsense!!!
We arrived back to the bikes which were thankfully still there! I did, however, have a tire with pretty low air . . . a quick inventory determined that I managed to bring a tire and irons, but my pump did not make it in - lame! Doug and Ryan took off, figuring it'd be better to ride a pump back in than anything else, and Sherrie and I made our way slowly out. The tire had enough air to ride (although steering was a little interesting) and it didn't seem like I was going to do major rim damage, so we went for it . . . we hoped to find bikers at the campground (no such luck!), but were happy to find some at the cabin. After probably giving them a heart attack in the process of borrowing their pump, my tire was full and we were off! We ran into Doug about 1/2 mile from the parking lot, happy he didn't have another 20 mile bike ride in front of him!!

A view of Bold Peak in the clouds from our ride
Happy with air in my tire again!!!

To top off a great day, a quick call to Moose's Tooth on the way out determined they're open until 1 am, giving us plenty of time to end the day with the pizza I'd been dreaming of since getting on my bike that morning!!! Hooray!!!
Overall, a great day! I'd never even been to Eklutna, so Bold Peak is a heck of an introduction, and it's always great to spend a long day in the mountains!!! It was also a good reminder lesson for suspension of disbelief - I had given us about a 5% chance of making it when we'd left the car . . . just goes to show you that you never know until you go!

Early May in the Wrangells

Kirsten Kremer and I decided to do a trip into the Wrangells, hoping that a certain line would be in shape, but excited to explore the area regardless. Incidentally, we ran into Peter Inglis (PI) and his girlfriend Julie at World Cup as we were running pre-trip errands in Anchorage. Turns out, they were headed out with a similar program. So, we all camped on the west fork of the Barnard Glacier in the Bona/University Peak area of the Wrangells. Peter and Julie left partway through, and Kremer and I stayed for a total of 12 days. It was a great trip - a mixed bag of weather and ski conditions, but we only had 2 tent days, and those days gave us a good chance to catch up on reading, writing, and coloring!

I had too many pictures, but here's somewhat of a snapshot of what we found - enjoy the view!

A few highlights from the 2008-09 ski season

Well, I didn't really have a camera all season, so I only have pictures from the days when other people took them . . . photos compliments of Scott, Cody, and Neil.

Me on Sunburst, early December

Pyramid, mid-December . . .

Eddies, January
Eddies N face to Wolverine NE face . . . probably my favorite day of the season!

. . . and then a proper Argentina vacation!

Adrienne and I both had a week after returning from Antarctica, so we played in the sunshine! We took a bus to Cordoba, rented a car, and explored the area south of the capital city . . . After that, some serious shopping in BA, and then I had a 2 days solo that included waterskiing in the Rio de la Plata and more shopping and eating . . . amazing overall!!!!

Adrienne at the birthplace and childhood home of Che Guevara in Alta Gracia
Casas Viejas - our LodgeSpa . . .

Adrienne, psyched under the blue skies and moving around with our heart rates up!

After our daily massage, we took the chance to read, write, and enjoy our afternoon snacks!

Horseback adventure #1 - headed to a waterfall :-)

Our waterfall - swimming ensued, as did drying out on the hot rocks - I miss dry heat!

Claudio, our guide, chatting business on our ride . . . we made so much fun of him, I thought we were going to die laughing . . . seriously fun!
Our third and final ride . . . a nice way to greet the morning!

On our way out . . . Adrienne, Leandro, me, Claudio
And then we headed to Lago los Molinos to take kitesurfing lessons - our first afternoon ended with a beautiful sunset!

Me, psyched for the next adventure - or maybe I just knew how much fun our bbq and cabin life with new friends was going to be . . .
Trying to learn to kite - this is not an easy sport!
Our final afternoon - waiting my turn in the sunshine, chatting with my new friend Diego :-)

Adrienne left, and I met up with my friend Peter from Las Lenas (who lives in BsAs) - he took me waterskiing on the Rio de la Plata - amazing!!!!

That last week was so much fun!!! I really haven't "taken a vacation" like that in a long time (ever?) and am so thankful for mine and Adrienne's friendship and all our laughs!!!