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First Turns

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  • First Turns

    Sun busted out for the first day of my 34th Chugach-Valdez season and I was not disappointed. I was able to skin from the 27-Mile trailhead a few thousand feet and found 12-16" new snow and deeper where wind loaded. Easily triggered a wet slide with a ski cut on a high south aspect while shaded aspects remained fluffy. Skiing was OK, damp with rock spots. Glacier looked to confusing to ski solo, but another storm is coming on Thursday so that should help with that minor route issue.

    Got a new camera so my first video is a bit off since there is really no downhilling being solo and such.

    Video- Thompson Pass 10/9/13

    Wonderful day in the mountains. Here's a few pics also.

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    Something visual as the fog cleared away.

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    Last edited by Valdez Telehead; 9 October 2013, 07:28 PM.

  • #2
    Very sweet. And jealous, we're still waiting for something more than dust.

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    • #3
      Congrats on kicking off the new season! What an amazing playground you live in. Liked the video. There are street lights on your highways?

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      • #4
        Those are "snow poles" used to assist motorists and snow removal equipment during snowy or blizzards conditions find the road up and over Thompson Pass. They have reflectors. They installed them about 15 years ago and they really help. The poles in the above photo are power system pylons.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Valdez Telehead View Post
          Those are "snow poles".
          Cool! What a great problem to have. I couldn't figure out why you would have lighted highways.

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          • #6
            They have special reflectors on them and kinda light up the highway a bit. It's trippy at night.

            A very wet and warm pattern setting up. It has now rained 55 of the past 60 days. The monsoon will likely continue for some time. On pace for the rainiest year in Valdez (96"/1973). In the meantime, Nepal is calling us and leave next week. 60th anniversary thing, retracing the route from Katmandu, skipping the flight to Lukla and trekking the classic route to Kala Patar and EBC. Not much chance for a ski soon as Tabitha says the skis must stay behind. Looking forward to some high altitude and then returning to c-level and my skins.

            Here's a bit of a related write up that I finished yesterday. It might load slowly.

            Sir Hillary in Valdez

            Hatchers supposedly has 5K of nordic trail groomed today over couple feet of snow, but this may wash out. Still expect plenty of snow above 4500' in the Chugach in the meantime.

            An excerpt from the AK NWS Special Statement issued Friday.

            .....PRECIPITATION IS VERY LIKELY TO BE WELL ABOVE NORMAL ALONG COASTAL
            AREAS AND ON THE WINDWARD MOUNTAIN SLOPES. WITH THE MILD
            TEMPERATURES...SNOW ELEVATION LEVELS WILL BE UNUSUALLY HIGH FOR THIS
            LATE IN THE AUTUMN AND KEEP LOW ELEVATION SNOW AT BAY POSSIBLY
            THROUGH AT LEAST NEXT WEEK.

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            • #7
              More on snow poles....

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              • #8
                FnA, nice turns.

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                • #9
                  Talk about a dream job --> Snow Pole Architect.

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