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!