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Valdez - 14/15 - Demechanized

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  • Valdez - 14/15 - Demechanized

    Nice benchmark today starting my 35th season skiing right here in Thompson Pass where I learned to ski. Big difference this year is I retired from 25 years of guiding on my last turns last spring. Who know what that will open up, but hoping to travel more around the state, free from the obligations of the Pass. But most of it will he right here as it should be as this place rocks at times. Thinking Brooks Range in May and some trips up to the AK range when conditions are good whenever. I can now ski because I love to, not because I have to.

    Like today

    8" fresh made for some low angle touring around Worthington Glacier. It was too stormy up high to risk, though the snow was very supportable for skiing, gotta temper 1st day desires due to ROCKS. Sun supposed to blaze tomorrow and if so I'll possibly go check it out and try to get some turns in.

    La-de-da

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    Still some puddles but the uppers are looking good.
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    A moose running out of options.
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    Eagles wait for cohos.
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  • #2
    See a moose an eagle and get to ski in Oct. Very jealous.

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    • #3
      I drove past Odessey North yesterday and it looked unusually good even from the road. There are a few minor couloirs that dribble through the rock, like Freeway and Pencil Chute. I chose Freeway, a run I've done from the top down, but have failed a number of times to climb up the couloir and then ski it. But whenever I do this I end up like today wallowing in deepening powder and eventually give up booting it. Today I made it about 1/2 up the couloir. A partner to help break trail would have helped today as it was in epic condition with 125cm of damp powder from the top to the lake below. Real good stuff.

      Not a file photo. Today
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      Others had ideas, but these two need split boards.

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      Deep snow in the couloir.
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      Over the shoulder shot. Car is parked just to the right of the lake.
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      Made a a ton of turns telemarking the main problem and finding relief with p-turns on the lowers. Rocks were a non-issue to my delight
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      • #4
        Stout work!

        So I guess pre-season workouts are morphed into "practice" now?
        Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!

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        • #5


          \,,/ \,,/

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          • #6
            Looks like two feet of snow forecast between now and Sunday for our upper elevations setting up an nice early season snowpack thanks to a number of asian cyclone that are circulating up towards AK and petering out in the Gulf of Alaska. It snowed here in Town all day yesterday with little accumulation.

            The AK DOT provides a weather station at a location where the highway crest. It is here the winds blow the hardest so usually its blowing less elsewhere. When it reads 30mph one can expect a slight breeze a mile away. If I see 40, then its a bit too brisk all over the place depending on temp of course also. Good to know. It's also the first station I seek at sunrise as you can see wether there has been fresh snow. The camera are really good for looking at cloud coverage and determining wether flat light conditions exist. The "Atmospheric Summary" from the menu is great for tracking current trends.

            Thompson Pass Weather Station.

            Here's a photo grab from this am.

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            Tabitha out-geeked me finding this link to a fascinating use of 3D to observe current surface condition around the world. Hopefully this technology will be improved and provide "zoom" so one can see local conditions. Use your mouse to spin the globe.

            3D Weather
            Last edited by Valdez Telehead; 9 October 2014, 01:32 PM.

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            • #7
              Not much to report here as the snow got rotten and I got back in the gym. Pretty typical October, so the wait for fun continues.

              Stumbled across some old pics at the local museum yesterday from Valdez in the 30's about the time Bradford Washburn set up his studio in Valdez and promptly stated "Valdez will one day be a ski destination". That was about 60 BC (before Coombs). I got here 13BC.

              PS Hunt was also a photographer and was in Valdez from 1906-1930.

              Everything was hand shoveled back in thew day. Horses pulled streets plows.
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              Getting out of Valdez wasn't easy.
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              These switchback trail are still there. This is just below the pass at Icy Point.
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              • #8
                Sweet historic pics.

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                • #9
                  Good start to the season! What's Valdez's winter pop? How many tourons come through in winter? How many burger and fries places within 100 miles?

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                  • #10
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                    snowpole123

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                    • #11
                      hardly know where to begin... All I'm doin' is putting new tracks on the LMC to get ready..

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                      • #12
                        Been in Tulsa for the past week as my older brother Bobby passed after a short battle with cancer. Good guy who had his own sport, Tae Kwon Do of which he was a 10th degree and at one point in his career he was the youngest black belt in OK. 200 black belts attended his service all dressed in their ghis. After the service I visited my Dad's grave with another brother. We chatted for a while and then I sat on the headstone and pondered the sadness that had visited my family. Call it karma, but as I gazed across the manicured lawn I was taken by surprise, spotting a headstone in the middle of a field that had the name "GOSKI" on it. My brother and I got a good chuckle out of that.

                        With that I returned home yesterday and promptly headed to the Pass this am to grab some skiing. Again nice conditions finding a few inches of fresh on top of icy old snow. Able to dodge rocks just fine. Favored the sunny south aspects of Catchers Mitt.

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                        VOG rolled in as the skin progressed
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                        Good place to dismount.
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                        End product.
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                        • #13
                          Sorry no skiing, but an eclipse day will do and a ski day scheduled tomorrow perhaps.

                          Nice flock of Waxwings arrived a few days. They camouflage with the few remaining leaves across the street at 1:15pm for the partial lunar eclipse. A slight dimming of light was barely noticed.

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                          Eclipse sunset arrives. East Peak stands at 7,200' from sea level.
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                          Meteorite asserts itself.
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                          Towards the west over a calm harbor.
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                          • #14
                            Hey VT. I kept meaning to ask if you'd seen this.
                            http://toptotop.org/

                            All 7 summits with no fossil fuels burnt. We saw their boat in the Gulf Islands off BC this summer and talked to Dario. Cool Guy. They climbed Denali in May / June from the water.
                            14 years on a boat... crazy stuff. They're wintering on the West Coast so they can attempt to complete the NW Passage next summer (since it never opened up this summer). Thought it'd be something you'd dig.
                            No one cares that you can't tele

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                            • #15
                              That's been done before at least with Denali.

                              Good day today heading for the steeps, powder and……….flat light. But chutes have a way of skiing fine anyway.

                              The H Couloir and our route today. We just booted up the gut and then cam down the same way, leaving some prints for definition. It was snowy, 32F, S-5mph the whole time. l I took this picture heading back to home as we missed the sunspot on a NW aspect.
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                              JPond boots up ahead. Firm with 6" dry powder.
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                              Hold that edge.
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                              Ahh…much better
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                              Choke in a chute.
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