Saturday, April 10, 2010

What to do in Juneau?

Well it has been a long day, or really 29 hours I guess.  The spring weather I have heard so much about has finally arrived and the sun is shining!

A picture of the weekend

Friday after work I packed up the skis and a small overnight pack and headed over to Blackerby Ridge for an overnight camp and morning ski.  It was a tough initial climb gaining about 3000 ft in about 2 miles.  It was a relief to hit enough snow that I could skin after carrying skis and gear on my back up the steep 'trail' (climbing over downed trees getting wacked with blueberry bushes and devils club).  The blueberry bushes are flowering in places already.

Beautiful skinning above treeline

The past couple days we had actually gotten almost a foot of new snow at 3000 ft and it was super soft and dry with a concrete base ... perfect.  

Looking across at Mt. Jumbo on Douglas Island and the soon to be skied couloir off the right shoulder

Views from further up the ridge, near camp

In order to pack light I only brought the tarp, so I didn't have to bring the tent and poles.  The high up there was in the upper 20s, so I needed to build a snow shelter for some insulation for the overnight lows (probably single digits, since my water bottle froze within 10 mins outside). 

Building the snow shelter with blocks of snow chopped from the wind hardened ridge

The finished product and the view

Sunset over the Chilkats ... cold

I did bring a stove and made some pasta for dinner and some tea.  I cooked right inside my shelter and it warmed up nicely, well once I was in my -15 bag I was comfy.  I had my LLBean crank radio as my companion to relay the folk Festival to my ears.

Today I woke up to another beautiful day.  I made some coffee, cooked up some oatmeal, packed up and found a nice slope to do some ski laps on.  The north facing aspects were just perfect.  Too bad it sucks to get up there or I would go up there all the time.  There are all kinds of neat rock features to huck with super nice landings, but I'll save them for another day when someone is with me.

Mellow middle section of the ski line

Looking down on Lemon Creek and the wetlands from the skin track

4 laps later ... this is the bottom 1/3 of the run

 A perfect morning filled with great views and face shots.  After getting the rest of my gear I skied back down through the trees as far as I could with some survival skiing where the snow was running out.  Then a walk out and back to the house (5 minute drive).  I ate everything I could find and left the house in about 40 minutes (1pm) and went to put the boat in the water (30 seconds from the house).

Bishop Point

No fish today, but it was a great day on the water.  Anchored up, did some bottom fishing/organized things on the boat, then I saw a couple other boats trolling for Kings.  It is early, mainly winter Kings, but I figured what the hell, plus I wanted to run the trolling motor since I didn't use it yet this year.  So I trolled back towards the Channel until about 715p.  One release, but nothing to show for it.   


The water was like glass for the ride back into Douglas.

Sunset over the southern tip of Douglas Island
Well, I'm going to bed ...

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