Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thompson Pass

Thompson Pass Weekend
Our friend Lee put together a fun weekend trip and decided March would be a great time to check it out for the first time.  We drove about 4 hours to get to the pass towing an empty snowmobile trailer which would be our tent for the weekend.  The road trip is always half the fun as we drove past the Matanuska glacier on the way and had great weather the whole time.  
The skiing here is pretty amazing, there were quite a few people skiing and snowmobiling and one parking lot was filled with campers.  We were able to find a parking lot where we were the only ones.  When we woke up in the morning we had some neighbors that were from all over the world, one guy from Europe, another from Scotland I think, they had tented it and had not slept a whole lot from what they said.  We skied Friday afternoon when we got there about 2800 feet.  Saturday we skied about 4500 feet and were rewarded with powder turns.  None of us wanted to go home as we loaded up, we stopped for some greasy burgers with the girls in one car and the guys in the truck. 

I love that Dave and I get to and love to ski together.  We are going to have to come up with a new system once our little guy is born.  Our friends have had a lot of luck putting their kid in a baby bjorn to the top of some big hills and down again.  Hopefully we will be able to do something similar.  I was just barely 8 months pregnant on this trip.  I was a little hesitant sleeping on a sleeping pad and having to get up in the middle of the night but it worked out alright after all.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Skiing in AK and Seward in winter

Dave headed towards microdot peak in the middle of this picture, skiing off the backside is something we plan on doing once there is more snow.
 Hatcher Pass is about a ten minute drive away from us to the top parking lot area and we are feeling very spoiled having such easy access from our apartment.  We spent many hours on the road over the last few years as we skied in the Wasatch mountains.  We now feel like we can head up for a few hours for a quick tour if we want and not feel like we need to stay out all day if the snow isn't that great or the weather is not cooperating.
This winter we were able to get out quite a bit even though it was a low snow fall year and we had to do a little rock dodging especially in the beginning.  With it now being towards the end of the season we definitely have a better feel for what aspects are better and have some favorite routes that always seem to be good no matter what the snow or weather have been up to. 

Ski crampons are essential here and we never leave home without them.

This is a flag on top of marmot peak which starts out straight from the parking lot.  It's great not having to do a lot of walking before the uphill starts.  This is something we can climb and ski within 45 minutes from the minute our skis are on.  I am 6 months pregnant in this photo and have been lucky to be having a great pregnancy, especially after the first couple months where I felt kind of sick a lot.  One thing I had hoped for was that I would still be able to get out and ski as much as possible and luckily that is how it has worked out so far.

This is archangel road where I spent many hours driving to my favorite blueberry picking area this last fall.  In the winter they groom it for ski racers and have a classic track as well.  It goes back for about 3.5 miles and every weekend the parking lot is packed.  A lot will have their dogs strapped to them too.
Four of our friends got their first back country setups for the year.  Dave had a lot of fun researching and helping them figure out the best equipment that would work for them.  We were and still are so excited to have some other couples to head out with.  The first day was awful weather and the snow wasn't that great but they still loved it!

We were bored one weekend Dave was home and the weather wasn't so good for skiing so we drove 3 hours down to Seward.  We decided to drive along the ocean on a really bumpy road to Miller's Landing.  This is a little town that has a bunch of cabins to rent and sea kayaks as well as the start off point for a hike along the coastline we really want to do someday.