Spring has officially sprung and I need to do a little spring cleaning of my photo archives. As usual I’m behind in posting, but I hope you enjoy the shots all the same. Hoping to have posts on heli skiing in Juneau and in Haines soon, so stay tuned.
Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category
Posted by k8skis on December 24, 2009
After a couple days of hitting up Eaglecrest and feeling like we had skied all there was to ski, minus some groomer laps, my brother Kanaan, Chris and I decided to give Cropley Chutes a go on a quest to seek out some untracked snow. We rendezvoused at the parking lot at a bright 8:30, early for my standards (sorry, not old enough yet for the 5 am jaunts) and made our way up the platter and into the trees. As you may know, the skin through the trees up to Bunnytoe Pass can be a bit sketchy but after a quick boot and some technical skinning (try wedging your powder basket between a tree branch to pull yourself over some big gaping holes) we made it above the trees.
Once we got above the trees it was a relatively quick skin up to the top, with a stop at an already dug out snow pit. Kanaan cut it back and did some shovel shear tests to check out the snow pack on the northeast facing slopes of Mt. Stewart (Wedding Bowl). We noticed two major rain layers with sugary snow in between and some surface hoar facets on top of the latest crust. We concluded that they could lead to some potentially weak layers in the snow pack. We also observed some Northerly gusts of wind on the summit. We decided we would go to the top and check out the snow pack on the SE side of Stewart (Cropley Chute side) and make our decision on the descent from there.
After preparing for the decent, Kanaan dug a hasty pit on the Eastside of Stewart, some weak layers were noticed but it was decided that the penetration was probably minimal enough to ski Cropley Chute. We entered through skier’s left and sought out the soft pockets through the crust charging just enough to stay on top and not succumb to the death cookies towards the bottom.
We regrouped at the trees below and made our way towards the lake and back to the car. All in all an awesome way to welcome the light back and celebrate the first day of Winter!
All photos by Chris Miller
Posted by csmphotos on December 17, 2009
After all the sun and blue bird days, we are back to our normal Southeast Winter weather. The beginning of the system that moved in yesterday didn’t bring as much snow as I had hoped. The skin up the lower mountain showed little new snow maybe an inch or two in spots. With the heavens quickly closing in Kanaan and I decided to try Showboat for a quick early morning run. We had been eying a few lines in the alders from the parking lot, so we decided to give it a go, over the disappearing West Ridge. The wind picked up out of the East to Southeast, consistent with the forecast, as we ascended through the lookers right trees of Showboat. We began to traverse over the ridge to link up with the lines we had scoped from the lot. The wind was definitely moving snow and depositing it on West facing slopes. It seems clear that wind loading is occurring and that a weak bonding layer exists resulting in slabbing (see photos below).
After doing a little investigating of the snow pack we moved on to our alder filled goal. The snow in the Showboat alders was more consistent and stable than the wind loaded ridge. The skiing was fast and fun the whole way down.
The run spit us out right below the base of the Ptarmigan chair, and with minimal hiking we made it down to the parking lot. The precipitation was moving in and out from a thick snain to snow. Its shaping up to a be a good weekend. Be careful out there.
Posted by Shea on December 15, 2009
As many of you know the last storm cycle brought some great snow to Juneau, but by the end of the day on Sunday, December 6th, most of it had been gobbled up by the plethora of local ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Juneau is rich with a diverse population that loves snowsports, but that often means that the powder soon disappears.
With little time during the day due to work or family constraints, a group of us has been pretty dedicated this season to exploring Juneau’s backcountry by headlamp. There are quite a few crazy skiers and boarders in town that spend their evenings in such practice. This post is a dedication to all of you that get out whenever you can; whether it is for pre-dawn patrol or an after-work run.
On Tuesday the 8th of December, Ray, Tim and I headed out for another evening raid. The cooler weathers had definitely hardened the snowpack, but we knew that there was some pow left to be found. In fact, the day before we had skinned up towards the Wedding Bowl and discovered Fred Meyer bowl to be untracked! That was unheard of…so here are some photos on the way to Fred Meyer bowl that very next evening. Enjoy!
More night skiing action to come so stay tuned…
Posted by juneaubackcountry on December 12, 2009
A good sized group of skiers and boarders skinned and booted up Fishcreek Knob. The clouds/fog came in and out the whole morning. Once we reached the summit we were able to see our own shadows in a sundog, unfortunately it was so small and the contrast so low that I couldn’t capture it. On the first descent we encountered a fairly set-up crust with variable powder on the first 1/3 of the descent, that eventually gave way to fast dry powdery turns. When we reconnected with the skin track we decided that we couldn’t resist dropping off the north-side into the trees. The trees held some of the best turns of the day, despite the lower 1/3 being fairly icy/crusty making for a workout of an exit. All-in-all another great day in the BC.
P.S. If you’d like to see all the edited shots from the day here’s the link: www.csmphotos.com/gallery/winter0910/121109/index.html
Posted by csmphotos on December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 7th, 2009:
Another beautiful day up on the mountain, mostly bluebird with some high clouds. After the ‘crest got hammered by people yesterday Kaitlyn, Kanaan, Ted, and I decided to hit up the backside of Hogsback and then skin up the side of Mt. Stewart for a back-to-back. After a leisurely skin over the West Ridge we dropped off the backside of the Hogsback saddle into shallow patches of drifted snow and wind hammered features. The skin up and out of the gully between Hogsback and Stewart was difficult at times, as we were side-hilling across steep wind-scoured features with a loose layer of fine powder. Despite a few set backs we made it to the first section of shoots heading down the lookers left side of Stewart. From the top we were able to observe the backside of Stewart, just about every south-westerly face was wind hammered, much like what we experienced on the backside of Hogsback. The descent down Stewart was fast and smooth through snow that was about 3 inches of powder on top of a firm and stable layer. We popped out above Cropley Lake and made our way back to Eaglecrest proper to call it a day.