Alaska skiing '11 - Eddie's south face on NYE

Well, the post-Christmas time home was one of the best 2 weeks of my life for sure - I ultimately had to take a rest day because my legs just couldn't do it day after day in the brutal cold . . . but that rest day might have been the best day of the whole time off - there's something magical about earning the "right" to do absolutely nothing . . . love it!!

It started out with 2 days on Magnum/Goldpan and skiing my favorite face on Turnagain Pass for the first time this year . . .

My tracks on my favorite "little kid" line - Nick skied the burly line off the summit . . . what I would call a "big kid" line :-)
New years eve was a great day out on Turnagain - Charlie Renfrow, Corky Still, Paul Forward, Jared Gross, and I headed out for some new fun terrain in the sun!  Awesome day, except for the rock I hit which gave me a huge core shot and pretty gnarly fall . . . such is life I suppose!

me headed up (photo: Charlie Renfrow)
Corky skiing (photo: Charlie Renfrow)

me on run #1 (photo: Charlie Renfrow)

(photo: Charlie Renfrow)

(photo: Charlie Renfrow)

Paul incoming! (photo: Charlie Renfrow)

New years day was a super cold and brutal one . . . foreshadowing of the January to come . . . we ended up (me, Corky, Paul) exploring the Pete's area, hoping to ski the long S face on Pete's south, but getting shot down by windslab as we were trying to avoid ridge walking in the brutally cold wind . . . such is life!

Skiing Alaska - December '11

Well, after an earth-shatteringly fabulous time off in November, my free time in early December was a bit less stellar due to two huge storms that pretty much shut the world down . . . the fringe benefit was of course appropriate weather to throw a raging 80s workout party (and properly enjoy the next day without too much exertion) and ski some resort days . . .

Somehow the tele crew found it in the heart to ride a chair with an alpine skier ;-)

Who said there's no girls in AK?  Corky has his pick!
The good thing about bad weather is that it makes ice climbing a lot more appealing - and warm storms make for a lot more pleasant climbing!  It was great to swing tools for a day and chat it up with Sherrie (although I have to say that skin tracks are more conducive to chatting than ice climbs!)

Sherrie on the lower pitch of Kid's Corner - I think I did one too many laps on the lower section cuz I was WORKED by the end of the last pitch!!

Colorful and talented Sherrie

The highlight of this time off was skiing Tincan Proper . . . at this point, the line has been skied so many times that it doesn't seem like a big deal . . . but the first steep line of the season, the first time on Proper this season, and the total unexpected nature of skiing a big line made it super cool . . . leave it to Erik to provide some inspiration!!
Kathy and Erik coming down the ridge

Kathy on the line . . . it was awesome!!

 We actually went back and skied it the next day before partying it up for Heather's birthday and Shelley's cancer-versary . . . 80s workout theme!  My floor was actually flexing from all the dancing, but all's well that ends well I suppose!

Mary really nailed it on the costume - right down to the hair!

Jen Mac and Shelley starting the dance party early . . .

North slope invasion of the party :-)

Skiing Alaska - November '11 favorites

Well, what can I say?  Alaska's early season was pretty much all-time this year . . . it was such a nice way to transition back home after Argentina, to reconnect with friends and feel like I hadn't missed a beat!  Of course, my photos are spotty at best, but there are at least a few good ones in here!

11/7/11 . . . skiing with Corky and his buddies on the Sunnyside before it opened to snowmachines - a super beautiful and sunny day, cut short unfortunately by sketchy windslab and some avy action . . .
photo: Corky Still
photo: Corky Still

photo: Corky Still

photo: Corky Still

11/8/11 Turnagain touring with Tim Glassett - Tim's working a bunch and in school, so it's a rare day that we get out touring - we had an awesome day though: Sunburst south face-Pastoral S face - super bowl - magnum W face . . . classic Turnagain mega tour!
dreaming of Goldpan lines!
Tim, our snow science enthusiast!

11/9/11 Magnum with Sherrie - this girl has got to be one of my favorite partners of all time and I feel so lucky when she comes skiing with me . . . when we ski together, I am not sure if the focus is skiing or chatting because both happen at pretty high levels :-)  We had some wind this day, but still managed to have some excellent turns!!

11/10/11 - Sunnyside with Sherrie and Erin . . . this was Erin's first time touring and it helped both Sherrie and I realize that ski touring is actually really difficult!!  Erin is a world-class athlete, but the heavy setup and new sport made for a funny day :-)
Sisters on the sunnyside :-)

Sherrie!

Erin and Sherrie
Me 'n Sherrie
 11/12/11 . . . ladies day on Sunnyside - well, not so sunny, but excellent skiing regardless!  It was fun to be out with Sarah Heck, Cortney Kitchen, and Erica Madison - all strong skiers and climbers, and super fun ladies!!
me, Erica, Cortney, Sarah

11/14/11 - my last day home and a super fun day on Turnagain . . . the snow was shockingly good and we were inspired to venture further than we'd planned . . . CB #2 couloir to Goldpan to the corner pocket area and out the magnum west face . . . finish at dark, all smiles to fuel some daydreaming at work!!

Russ above Goldpan 
Russ on Goldpan

Moments of minor fame . . .

I figured I'd share a few moments of minor fame . . .

When I got back from the mountains in Argentina this year, I had an email from The Yoga Journal, telling me I'd been selected for their "backpage" feature in Feb '12 . . . I was stoked!!


About the same time, Leah Hartl also posted some published photos of our Albania/Kosovo trip . . . in a German ski magazine, and also in a proper newspaper . . .

Skiing in bounds at Brezovica
Skiing in Valbona, Albania near the border with Montenegro - I think I am the skier

Photos of Bajram Curry, Albania as well as Brezovica, Kosovo 
me skiing the deep trees in Valbona, Albania


In bounds at Brezovica
The amazingly cute boys we met in Valbona, touring the Valbona valley


A photo I took leaving Valbona . . . this building was once a hotel
Touring outside the Brezovica ski area

And the proper newspaper publication  . . .