Wrangells on a whim . . .

It's always funny how trips come about . . . I really wasn't planning a Wrangells trip, but I ran into Lance Breeding at the base of Peak 3 and we talked about both having time off, and then I got a call a few days later with an invite to leave in less than 24 hours to meet his friend Kevin for a quick trip.  Since I already had ski plans, I figured it was best to meditate over it on the skin track (to ski a super cool couloir in Ram Valley, I might add!) and go from there.  I had a bunch to take care of before I could leave as well, so I eventually decided not to rush anything and to do as much as I could, going if I could fit it all in.  I think it was about 11pm by the time I got home and I had to meet Lance at 4am in Anchorage, but somehow I managed to pack and drive back to town, even with about 2 hours in my bed :-)  He was kind enough to do the driving to Chitina where Paul Claus picked us up and took us to the Ultima Thule lodge, where we met up with Lance's friend Kevin and flew in.  Kevin had recently completed a new alpine route on University Peak and was looking to spend some time in the mountains enjoying before a summer of work at Ultima Thule.

So, off we went . . . Paul pretty much followed the weather, and of course knows the area better than anyone, so we ended up in a pretty sweet ski area in the Granite Range.  These pictures didn't load in order, and I lack the fortitude to re-organize, so enjoy the smattering of images from a wonderful mountain getaway :-)  Ski on!!!

This was ultimately our last day - we had wanted to ski that couloir, but we got up part of the base of it and were greeted with nasty windslab, so bailed :-)

Me putting on skins in camp - the views did not suck!!

The famed turbine otter, on our arrival day . . .

Lance on the way up right outside of camp

This was a super sweet N face that was ultimately our best ski run of the trip . . . I ended up skiing pretty much 360 degrees of this peak throughout the trip . . . pretty sweet!!

Kevin in our megamid kitchen!  Luxury camping :-)  Lance had gone pretty all-out on food too, so we were not suffering!!!
Not all days were sunny days . . . but couloirs aren't bad in low vis either!
Those lines right outside camp were sweet . . . super steep near the bottom :-)
This was a great south facing run Kevin and I ended up skiing - super satisfying!!
Me on the top of our first run of the trip  . . .
The one scary part of this trip was that cornice breaking below my feet and sending a large chunk off the other side - welcome to the mountains . . .

Our final run - we actually had a miscommunication and Paul came earlier than we expected, so we were halfway up this face when he arrived . . . free trip back to camp, and ended up being good luck that we got out that day, as the actual pickup day was gray and likely not-flyable . . .

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