Alternate Entertainment

I have some work that must be done on MLK day, so cut time by going skiing this morning.  Brown Mountain lookout trail in GNP.  TH at 3.4k, lookout at 7.5, rain/snow line at 5.9.  As one of my Juneau-raised co-workers said, vintage SE Alaska weather = fucking nasty.  I thought I had enough time to make the lookout if conditions allowed, but trail breaking above 5k was absurdly taxing, 16 inches of new snow, and a good 8 pounds of water piled on top of each ski with each new shuffle forward.  I flipped it at 6.5k when I ran out of time (to make an appointment that cancelled), and experienced some interesting skiing down.

It’d be great safe tree skiing with better snow.  As it was, without something as fat and rockered as the Marquettes it would have been unskiable (for me).  Decent speeds to achieve planning above to cement was essential, and stops to scope the line ahead were made at tip-grabbing peril.

The rest of the weekend promises more of the same, with the snowline staying far too high for usefulness all through the weekend.  Avy conditions, and skiing generally, will be horrendous for quite some time.  The rain crust from the last big warm storm, which we saw last weekend but didn’t see fail, has been failing with the past weeks loading.  Not only will that crust be exacerbated by this muck, the rain promises to produce an even thicker crust that will be the source of paranoia well into May.

In short, it looks like a good weekend to go bowling.


3 thoughts on “Alternate Entertainment

  1. I believe you’re referring to Mount Brown and if so I’ve heard tell of some pretty hairy ski descents involving getting cliffed out on some very large rock. With the right route choice it’s said to be a great run though.

    Ironic side note, I went bowling last evening.

    1. 3 guys spent a night out up there last month. From where I pulled skins the terrain (some nice open gullies) wanted to send you off the north face straight down to the lake. Likely not a good option down low. I traversed a bunch at about 5500 to get back around to the west face, where more good spaced trees and a nice angle was to be found. I intend to go back once this awful weather passes.

      I’m going to start bringing my GPS skiing, too. Taking the inexactitude out of rampant guesstimation would be nice some times.

  2. Or to do the Whitefish Whiteout.

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