Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coaches Meeting

 The coaches had a lot to discuss.  It was time to get together and talk about last year's UAA Ski Team, next year's team, what could improve, what should stay the same, ski racers, ski wax, and skis. It seemed appropriate to discuss it while skiing.  A 7-hour ski trip seemed about right.

I've never skied Pyramid Peak.  It rises 3,285 feet out of the mud on the south side of Turnagain Arm, and it looks so perfect from the highway; you can look across the fjord at it as you drive past.  And I always do. But you can't reach it from here unless you're ready to take your chances with the huge tides and sticky mud flats of Turnagain Arm.

The easiest way to get to the top of Pyramid Peak is to park at the top of Turnagain Pass, climp up onto Seattle Ridge, and then traverse several miles down the ridge, finally climbing up the back side of Pyramid Peak.

That's the backside of Pyramid Peak in the background.

Turnagain Arm from the top of Pyramid. Girdwood Valley in the background.

We decided to ski down the center chute.  I didn't take any pictures from up higher because I was focused on staying out of the four inches of wet slough that came down the mountain with us, with the potential to drag us down over some rocks if we weren't paying attention. But here's Andrew on the lower section.

Our plan had been to climb back up after our descent, and then traverse back to the car the way we came.  But it didn't seem like such a great idea to be on that sloughy wet snow without skis on our feet. So we opted to keep going downhill, to try a different way out - at sea level. 

Besides, it wouldn't be a real Alaska trip unless we did some bushwhacking.
Would you take skiing advice from these two characters?

Sea level, and the marsh grass of Turnagain Arm. 

After we took our boots off to cross a channel on the mud flats, it felt better to walk the last couple miles barefoot rather than squeezing back into those plastic things.
Of course, our change of plans left us several miles from where we'd parked the car, so there was some hitch-hiking involved.  I finally went over the beef jerky stand and talked some hapless travelers into giving Andrew a ride.

Meeting adjourned.

No comments:

Post a Comment