Friday, October 7, 2016

Mt Alyeska

There's a 200-kilometer speed skating race in the Netherlands called the Elfstedentocht. It's a big race, with 16,000 participants. Problem is, the canals in Holland don't always freeze during the winter. And when the canals don't freeze, it's super-difficult to skate on them so they cancel the race. The Elfstedentocht has only been held 15 times since 1909. The last time they were able to hold the race was in 1997. 

The UAA Ski Team's hike over Max's Mountain and Alyeska Peak is kind of like that.  If it's windy or raining, there's not much point in trying to survive a 3-plus hour death march over a rocky exposed knife-edge ridge. After all, the point of the workout is to become faster skiers, not to conquer a difficult mountain. Coming home bedraggled and miserable won't do us much good. So when the weather's not quite perfect (which it usually isn't in this temperate rainforest biome) we call an audible and go somewhere else instead. But every once in a while, the sun shines on our Max's / Alyeska hike day, and it's on. How many years will it be until we get the chance again?  Memories of today might need to last us a while.

We started at the bottom of the ski lift.

Charlie Renfro joined us about 10 minutes in.

Tom said this part reminded him of Estonia, if Estonia was tilted 90 degrees on its side.

Breaking out of the trees on Max's Mountain.

Girdwood below.


Zacke & Tom

The ocean

One of the things we like most about this workout is that we can descend the last 2,000 feet by cable car, thereby saving our legs for another day.

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