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Author Topic: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor  (Read 2913 times)
scottb
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March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« on: 03/22/13, 09:24 AM »

I have been meaning to post an Aleutian report(or any report for that matter)for some time now so here it is....
A couple years ago I posted a TR on Cascade Climbers about climbing and skiing on Unalaska Island and I was surprised at the amount of interest in the place. Seems a lot of people in the NW have a connection to Dutch Harbor with the amount of folks who have done time in the fishing industry up here. For the last 20+ years I have called this place my second home and it has been a real pleasure to be able to get off the boat between trips and earn some turns. This place has it all. A stable costal snow pack(mostly), steep lines and mellow bowls. The lofty summits rise straight from sea level, and not a soul in sight except for a few hardy locals and a couple of fisherman participants like myself. Its is truly rewarding experience to ski right to tide line.
Its no Valdez or Haines, and with the exception of some of the Aleutian Volcanoes, the peaks are quite small. But imagine stepping out of your car at 6,000 feet everyday in the Cascades....No bushwack, no long logging road approach. Everything is an alpine environment here, and the tundra skis quite nice between the snow fields in June


* AK4.jpg (227.37 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 933 times.)

* AK5.jpg (174.77 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 922 times.)
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ebeam
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #1 on: 03/22/13, 10:44 AM »

done time in the fishing industry

Not a bad way to think about fishing.

Still “doing time” after 30 years in Bristol Bay, but we only get to see distant volcanoes on the occasional clear day and the tundra is full of bugs our time of year.

A little jealous … Thanks for the report.

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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #2 on: 03/22/13, 12:22 PM »

You win! I'd love to ski the Aleutians.

Shishaldin has been on the list since the day I saw it on Amar's page.
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scottb
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #3 on: 03/22/13, 03:17 PM »

Yes Shishaldin and the torturous Aleutian weather. I have been completely shut down twice trying to summit Shishaldin and Isanotski. Its a long walk to those two from the Village of False Pass. Someday I would love to give it a go again. We were successful climbing Roundtop Volcano on our first trip to Unimak Island. And I had the good fortune of summiting Makushin Volcano here on Unalaska Is in the Summer of 2011.
Lots of unclimbed peaks in the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula.

A couple more pics...


* ak6.jpg (199.39 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 759 times.)

* ak7.jpg (82.91 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 739 times.)
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Powderhino
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #4 on: 03/22/13, 03:19 PM »

Looks photoshopped to me....Sunshine in Dutch Harbor?   

Are you on Ballyhoo?
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scottb
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #5 on: 03/22/13, 03:29 PM »

Hard to believe, but yes that is sunshine from the top of Ballyhoo. Good eye, you must know the view from experience.

OK, a couple more....Isanotski and Shishaldin from the top of Roundtop. And the last one is Progromni Volcano as seen from the boat, Bering Sea side.


* ak12.jpg (177.35 KB, 1000x652 - viewed 738 times.)

* ak13.jpg (133.66 KB, 1000x652 - viewed 745 times.)
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Powderhino
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #6 on: 03/22/13, 08:11 PM »

Very nice shots. 

Sometimes it is the view alone that powers one through an aleutian gale while fishing with the thoughts that the money made on the boat will translate into powder turns in the mountains. 
I have been on mighty Ballyhoo.  Where I fish I stare at an unskied volcano with plenty of lines to choose from.  Getting there is the only issue.

Good luck and good fishing.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #7 on: 03/22/13, 08:23 PM »

So cool.

What were your primary difficulties on Isanotski and Shishaldin? I've spent time staring at maps, and comparing my bank account with Penn Air's pricing; couldn't quite figure out how the glaciers would go, the logistics would work, and whether bears would be a large or small concern.
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scottb
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #8 on: 03/22/13, 08:57 PM »

Weather was the most daunting foe on our Unimak trips. The first time we went was late April and the next effort was in early May. We wanted to go before the snow melted out in the valley bottoms to facilitate towing our sleds. Which worked out fairly well on the way in, but the way out was a different story when a lot of the snow had receded. Its hard to string together enough consistent weather days to get anything done out here, we simply ended up running out of time and patience. Summer affords better weather but a lot more boot packing. Once elevation is gained to the glacial level the travel got easier, but we had to struggle with GPS only navigation, which is no fun anywhere. The USGC maps, although good, really leave out a lot of details on that Alaska scale.
Although we were prepared for bears, the only place we saw them was close to False Pass, I think most of them were still denning, or close to the beach feeding.
I would like to go back. If money were no object I would try to fly in closer to the objectives, I talked to a pilot years back from Nelson Lagoon, who said he could land me on the Shishaldin caldera. The best way to get the bang for your buck is to use Alaska Air miles to get to False Pass.
Let me know when your going!
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #9 on: 03/22/13, 09:26 PM »

The best way to get the bang for your buck is to use Alaska Air miles to get to False Pass.

That works?! Awesome. I've got enough miles at the moment, I think.

Will get in touch if a plan gets real.
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ebeam
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Re: March 2013, Unalaska Is, AK-Dutch Harbor
« Reply #10 on: 03/23/13, 11:40 AM »

Where I fish I stare at an unskied volcano with plenty of lines to choose from. 

This one?


* BB_2009_377.JPG (124.01 KB, 1000x324 - viewed 498 times.)
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