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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  March 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
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Author Topic: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK  (Read 2031 times)

Posts: 356

March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« on: 03/29/13, 06:10 PM »

What better way to cap off a winter ski bumming then spending two weeks in Alaska?  Conveniently my brother lives in AK, and was more than happy to ditch work for two weeks to ski.  Last year we lucked out with the weather (TR Here) and we had our fingers crossed for a repeat this year. 

Views on the flight up from Seattle got the stoked started:

Day 1-3: CPG Hut Trees
We spent the first three days skiing out of the Chugach Powder Guides hut.  It's located in the middle of the snowcat terrain which is good (easy social skinning on cat tracks, lots of good tree skiing) and bad (cats snake you and drop 15 people on your line).  Instead of taking the cat track from Alyeska my brother's friend Cody convinced us to take the "short cut" further up river.  Re-frozen snow in the trees made for a slippery skin down to the river crossing, where after some shenanigans:

We arrived at the hut:

The sun doesn't set until 9PM so evening tree laps were in order before we settled into the cabin for the evening.  Pasta with reindeer sausage hit the spot for dinner and gave us the energy for one more run by head/moon light.  Libations were enjoyed and we called it a night.

It snowed on and off for the three days were at skiing around the hut, meaning the larger alpine lines high above were a no go.  We made due in the trees, skiing lines that were too steep/tight for the cat ski horde to ski.

Day 4-5: Alyeska Pow
The next two days a large early spring storm hit Anchorage/Girdwood, with Alyeska picking up over two feet of new snow. 

The first day at the resort was a classic storm day, that got better as the day progressed.  Eventually the storm caused patrol to close the North Face, then all the outer areas.  The storm broke the following day (22" more overnight) and it was game on from Christmas Chute on down.  A full day of faceshots and cliff hucks ensued with the standard post game brews at The Sitz to cap off a great resort day. 

Day 6: Tincan Proper
This was the day we had been waiting for: new snow, clear skies, cold temps and a favorable avi forecast.  We chose to head to Turnagain Pass with the hopes of skiing Tincan Proper.  The mountain vies along the drive out the Turnagain Arm raised the excitement level:

The skinning along Tincan Ridge was really fun and airy:

The objective:

There was a decent rollover on the drop in; I'll admit we were happy to have a single track to provide some direction on the descent:

Killer views of the Western Chugach from the summit:

The turns off the top were, well, pretty awesome.  Faceshots through the rollover section onto the face were incredible.  Some crust in the middle faded quickly and soft turns were enjoyed down mellow spines and gullies to the valley below:

Looking back at the line:

After a sweaty skin out we enjoyed two more North facing pow laps:

Mellow pow turns in fading evening light (these turns were made around 8PM) were a great way to end a memorable day:

It's storming again now, but high pressure and cool temps are forecasted for next week.  A week's worth of groceries purchased - we leave for Valdez tomorrow night!  Grin

« Last Edit: 03/29/13, 06:25 PM by skier8484 » Logged

Posts: 108

Re: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« Reply #1 on: 03/29/13, 07:19 PM »

Looks like a great time. Thanks for posting so many pics, that really conveys how awesome you had (have) it!

Posts: 17

Re: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« Reply #2 on: 03/29/13, 08:24 PM »

Very Nice, looks like a great trip!

Posts: 457

Re: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« Reply #3 on: 03/29/13, 09:29 PM »

Amazing. My brother lives in Phoenix and I don't climb. Wanna trade?
Vince Lamphier

Posts: 73

Re: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« Reply #4 on: 03/30/13, 08:31 PM »

That panoramic shot is badass!!
Jim Oker

Posts: 1551

Re: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« Reply #5 on: 03/30/13, 08:44 PM »

Great report, thanks. And nice photos. I especially like the third from last of the skier with the long plume behind as they head down the shaded slope.

Posts: 186

Re: March 22-27, 2013, Western Chugach, AK
« Reply #6 on: 03/31/13, 05:07 PM »

WOW! Thanks for helping keep all of our AK dreams alive!
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