Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tis "The Season"

A week of sewing during a bluebird high pressure spell - torture! With a weather front moving in, today was deemed play day this week!
Thoughts of getting up early and climbing Carpathian were squashed by the weather forecast. When we drove by portage valley and the car thermometer read 15 below we were kinda relieved...


To Pastoral it was. Nice skin up between Sunburst & Magnum over Taylor pass.


The view from Taylor pass.


The peak looked great so we went up there. Getting windy... Billy's whippet came in handy as usual





Topping out with the Spencer Glacier in the back. On the other side of those peaks is Prince William Sound.




Our fearless Couloir leader Dan gives it some juice.


Spotting the Red Fox - Photo by Billy:




Billy incoming:


Good Stuff, all the way down off the glacier, then back up again for round 2. The front was moving in fast and we had flat light for part 2. Then headed up Sunburst and had a funky final run out. Great day, lots of vertical with the swallowtail, over 7,000'yeah!



Happy Vernal Equinox!

13 comments:

Dan said...

I love the Inlet photo and the Whippit action photo!
Fearless

Lindsay said...

Uh, doesn't look like you take many turns!

Eric said...

Its really just that skiers make too many..

Vik said...

Hola Eric....I can't ski...never have, but I can board. I was thinking about learning how to tele next winter so I can do backcountry skiing with friends in the Rockies..however, my skill level may not make that reasonable next season...I could get a split board and use that next year. I saw a guy in your photos on one...is it realistic to keep up with folks on tele or AT gear with a split board or will they always be waiting for me and annoyed?

Eric said...

Vik - That's me on the splitboard. I cant ski either. Been using them for 8 years. Yes - get one, the bigger the better. Once you get the transitions down it is not any slower at all. I use AT ski boots with the top buckles open and voile plate bindings. Its the only way to go. Soft boots are no good in the mountains.

ps - Friends don't let friends learn how to tele!

Vik said...

I used to [may be going back to it] ride plate bindings and AT boots so I have a set of Nordica TR9s kicking around.

I'll poke around for a split board off season and see what I find. How long a board do ride? Any brands models that are especially worth a look?

So if I score the split board can I come up to AK next winter and get some tutorial action in the ways of back country boarding? I can board and I have avy gear + some rusty avy skills.

=-)

Vik

Eric said...

Vik - I have a 173 volie & a 195 that is the namesake of this blog. The 173 is my steeper, lighter, spring peak board, and the 195 is the powder speed monster. Voile and Prior have seemed to stop making the longer boards, look for them used. Hard boots let you do everything that skiers can do, like edge while skinning, have warm feet, use crampons, and the bindings are even faster than ski bindings. great - you got me started...

Vik said...

I'll keep my eyes open. If you should see anything used for sale that is in good condition let me know or grab it. I'm good up to $500. There may be more gear available in your neck of the woods.

Cool. I didn't really want to learn how to ski...hahaha...=-)

Vik said...

How fast are you going up compared to someone on AT or tele skis - assuming same fitness?

wfinley said...

Vic: Eric is pretty slow. We're always sitting around waiting for him on the peaks; seems like he's always a good 5-10 minutes behind us. I keep telling him to get skis so he can keep up... but he won't listen. It's just sad seeing that he's in half-way decent shape; maybe one day he'll see the light.

Eric said...

Well, if your friends have Dynafit bindings & carbon poles then there is no way you'll ever keep up with them. But if they carry whippets and design websites then you'll have no problem.

wfinley said...

Hey man... those whippets are freakin' heavy!

Dan said...

Ha! You guys are killing me. Vik, don't buy into that web-designer's view on life. Eric FLIES up the hill, but only when he's on the swallowtail because it has super powers. You want one. 195cm of raw power! Nothing subtle about it!
Signed, Mr. Carbon Poles :-)