Turnagain Pass, AK Report: Blower. Powder.

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
elevator shaft
Lee dropping into Elevator Shaft today.

Skinning up on 6″ of light powder on ice on Sunburst ridge today off Turnagain Pass, AK was frustrating.  Skins didn’t wanna hold.  Anytime it got steep, we slid back.  The last pitch to the top was brutal.  On top, I just wanted to go home.  Clearly, it was going to be dust on crust.  Bad skinning to bad skiing…

 

turnagain pass
5 powder clouds hanging in this pick of Leaky Popplymayer in Elevator Shaft.

We gave the line Elevator Shaft a go expecting pure survival skiing and found smooth powdery bliss instead.  The snow was about a foot deep and as dry as it gets.  The layer underneath was soft and the skiing was murderously silent.  At times, you could see powder clouds still hanging in the air as far as 5 turns behind a rider.

The lower section was a bit dust on crusty, but not bad and still fun.

South Facing spine wall has melted out.  Spines here early season
South Facing spine wall has melted out. Spines here early season

In the past 30 days in the Chugach, today was the best snow on good terrain that I’ve experienced.  The last significant storm occurred here on March 16th before we got 6″ two nights ago.  It’s been a dry season.  With only two days left to ski, it’s great to know we’re going to score.

PHOTO TOUR:

Me dropping in.
Me dropping into bliss.
Turn #2.
Turn #2.
Leaky dropping in.
Leaky dropping in.
Lee kicking up smoke in Elevator Shaft
Lee kicking up smoke in Elevator Shaft
Sunburst Ridge as seen from Turnagain Pass.  Elevator shaft is on the lookers left and out of sight.
Sunburst Ridge as seen from Turnagain Pass. Elevator shaft is on the lookers left and out of sight.
Lower mountain smoke
Lower mountain smoke
Thar she blows.
Thar she blows.
Kick Step in the distance.
Kick Step in the distance.
Evil skin track
Evil skin track
Options abound.
Options abound.
Background music.
Background music.
HIke.  Ski.
HIke. Ski.

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