Monday, March 21, 2011

Heli Ski Weekend!

Hillary received her engagement gift, so I decided to get something for myself as well this last weekend ... 2 days of heli skiing!  The first day was up on the Juneau Icefield and the second day was over in the southern Chilkats ... it was incredible!  I don't have many pictures/videos together yet, but they will follow.  So for now there is a little preview.

dropping in

This chute was our third run of the day. The snow was perfect.  It was a toe-in landing, where the helicopter didn't have enough room to land so it set down one rail and hovered as we got out.

Leaving the lodge area out the road with the mtns we skied across Lynn Canal

Kevin belaying Drew down into the second run of the day to check snow stability.  After seeing no cracking after some big jumps on the snow he untied and took off.  The rest of us in the group followed.

Sam making turns before the run out

Friday, March 18, 2011

An icy escape

The days are getting longer, the winds are dying out, the sun is shining, the kings are getting ready to come home, the spring is a great time in Juneau!  Not to mention we have finally had some good skiing.  Most of the pictures from this post are from Mendenhall lake and glacier during the 'proposal event'.  Oh yeah, if you didn't know, Hillary and I are engaged.

Soon to be icebergs near the Mendenhall terminus on the lake

Of course Stout was there too!  Making friends along the couple mile ski from the visitor center to the glacier.

Approaching the glacier

Some dude for scale

Blue ice inside the ice caves.  The ice was so clear it almost looked fake.

The entrance tunnel to the bigger part of the cave

It is hard to capture scale in there.  The dark areas are clear ice filled with sediments entrapped in the ice.

It looks like running water at the bottom, but that is frozen too.  Stout inspects.

Playing around on top of the ice

On the west edge of the glacier

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Windy Douglas Harbor


Video from Hillary's Camera of the wind blowing at the Douglas boat harbor.  It was starting to get dark so the picture quality isn't the best.
Entrance to the boat harbor.  The log boom that typical acts as a wave break was torn apart, allowing the waves to come on in!

The not so nice channel

Winter has arrived

Recently we've gotten a lot of snow, followed by cold, sunny days with enormous winds.  This entire week we have a High Wing Warning with gusts up to 90 mph downtown!  Some ferries have had to cancel trips and the Port of Valdez has been closed for days.  We made a trip back to the east coast for a week to go to Brooke's wedding and visit Hillary's family in Maine.  Stout was in good hands with Pat, Jackie, and their own dog Barley.

Wind gusts (knots) at the Douglas boat harbor the past 5 days
Windy cloudy snowy day on North Douglas

Taking off from Juneau on the way back east

Looking back towards the valley from the plane.  It was clear but the winds were so high the blowing snow made the mtns difficult to see

Tracy Arm

Doty Cove (Admiralty Island), Stephens Passage, Gastineau Channel, and Taku Inlet with the Juneau Icefield in the distance

Preparing to knock out some k's on the country skis at Sugarloaf

Outside the lodge at Sugarloaf

Picture break

Skate skiing at Rangeley (Saddleback Mtn)

Sunset over Rangeley Lake, Maine

Dog sitting back in Douglas.  Stout watches the wind from his luxurious perch.

On the Treadwell Trail.  Last weekend we decided it would be a good idea to nordic ski from Eaglecrest back to the house on the Treadwell ditch trail.  Probably about 9 miles or so.  The trail is filled with washed out bridges over big ravines, downed trees, and deep snow that hasn't been traveled on for a long while.  Also, 50 mph winds in places and a high temp around 15F.  So it was slow going.  After lots of food and trail breaking we made it home (6-7 hours later).

One of the many log crossings

A lookout in one of the muskegs

He was pretty tired after his long day.  Speaking of long days we are getting 5-6 mins back a day now!  I've been skiing after work and it is still light out past 6p already!  The King salmon will be here in no time.