Monday, December 22, 2008

The Can

Yesterday i was trying to round up people to go skiing but wasn't having much luck so today I was going to try and meet up with people at Tincan and just hike with them. When I pulled into the parking lot Jordan was waiting as his climbing partner had bailed on their trip today. We had a great day and the clouds and snow abated right as we shed the skins and rode down. There was a group of guys using dogs to pull them up the hill, sort of like skijoring uphill, needless to say, it looked like a disaster. I took some photo's of the bindings we use today since the light was pretty bad for anything else. They telescope at the toe for skinning uphill and there is also a piece of plastic that clicks up in the back to aid on steeper slopes. That same piece of plastic locks the heel down for a normal alpine descent.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shortest Day

Sometimes you just get lucky. I went for a quick shakedown flight today to confirm that a few things were still askew with my avionics equipment. I climbed out of Soldotna and dialed in a route on the GPS to Mike's cabin across the inlet. As I passed through 2000 feet I could tell that my radio and electrical problems were still an issue so I decided on a shorter flight out to a friends house in Nikiski rather than over the inlet. The sun was hidden behind some high clouds acting as a filter and there was a layer of fog about halfway across the inlet that looked like it would shoot pretty well so I took a few photo's looking south/southeast toward the alaska peninsula/Iliamna.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Travis, Zack, Jordan and I hiked Lips peak today. The weather was marginal, but the snow was super good and we had a great time. The lighting was terrible but a few pictures came out alright. On these crappy light days I end up taking about 60 pictures and come out with around 6 good ones..... Lips is on the right as you enter Turnagain pass and most people overlook it because the parking lot is on the left side of the road. Hopefully heading up again tomorrow,



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Day Off

I had a rediculous morning... I woke up to the phone ringing, answered it, and there was a beeping noise on the other end. The phone rang like this non-stop for an hour. Finally I called the phone company and of course the calls stopped coming. Luckily the beeps were left on my answering machine so I shared a few beeps with the ACS guys... Anyway, jordan, travis, jessica and I made a go of it on Tincan today, getting to the mountain around 12:30, a late start. We topped out around 3:30 and it was starting get dark so we took a break, geared up, and took off. These pictures are great, i really enjoy shooting in the mountians in the evening. While i try to avoid heavy editing, some of these really popped after a little dose of Picasa. It was a crisp, dry cold, probably around 10 degrees and the snow was way good. Pictured are Travis Haskin, Jessica Summer, and Jordan Jenckes. The group determined after a few turns that jessica has quickly surpassed jordan as far as ski abilities go. All she lacks is the gear. We picked an easy route down and rode the last part in the last little bits of sunlight with darkness catching us at the car. Gear to Car > People to Car > Car to China Sea Buffet for a great dinner with good friends. Every one of these trips brings more great stories and new acquaintances. What a day, can't wait for more more more.
cheers and Enjoy the pictures from Tincan today

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Roll to Slide

Uneventful week on the snow with the poor (warm) conditions early in my week off so a couple days ago I put the plane in the hanger and started swapping it over to skis and getting it ready for shawn to annual it. Once a year, every year, a certified mechanic has to go through the plane and engine to ensure that everything is up to snuff. Back to work tonight!

Friday, December 5, 2008

More snow


End (Nam Flashback)

I was up in Anchorage yesterday at a doctor's appointment and on the way back through the pass it was starting to snow pretty good so I was pretty pumped for today because Jordan and I were supposed to head up Tincan again. So this is how it usually works: I wake up to my cell phone alarm, roll over and look out the window to see if it's cloudy. I always forget that it's going to be dark probably when i look out the window, so my next move is to call Jordan. "Dude, is it cloudy up there?" He lives in anchorage. "I don't know, it's dark" Me, "ohh yeah, it's dark here too". Luckily radar doesn't mind if it's dark or not, so i'll usually tell Jordan i'll call him back in a minute after I check the weather online. Something Ive learned over the years is to never make a decision about wether to go or not within 45 minutes of waking up, especially during the winter months. It's way to easy to just blow it off and roll back into a nice warm bed, but once your up and moving, things start to look better. So despite crappy conditions in Soldotna, the snowpack has been stabilizing in the pass and the radar looked good so we met up at the Tincan parking lot at noon because Jordan had a class till 11. We had a great day in fresh snow and the weather only got better throughout. We skied down under an early moon and had some great views from the parking lot. We are really lucky to live in such a great place

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Great Day

Figuring we may get a break in the weather I headed up to Tincan again today and skinned to the same spot as yesterday. It had snowed another 10 inches over night and stayed cold so the snow was great. The north face of Tincan avalanched today, a sign of the lingering weak layer formed earlier in the year. As the year progresses and snowpack matures and heals, I will head back to some of the larger peaks and faces in the pass, but for now, Tincan is a nice, relatively safe slope to ride. I met some great guys on the way down today and I inluded a photo of Justin and his dog. No kidding, dogs probably outnumbered people today on Tincan, it looked like hard work.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Sunday night I did something that no single, 26 year old male who has a week off at a time should do; I baked a pie. I inherited a load of rhubarb and raspberries from my mom, so this fall I cut a load of rhubarb and picked bowl after bowl of raspberries and stuck them in the freezer for a slow Sunday. Alas, that Sunday came. I found a simple recipe online and baked a Raspberry/Rhubarb pie that actually wasn't that bad. In an attempt to prove that men can actually bake a marginally aesthetically pleasing pie, I took a few pictures. Next time I will attempt my own crust. For the record, my mom bakes an amazing rhubarb pie that I will have a hard time matching; this is a start......

Big snow at Tincan

I started Hiking around 11:30

And got back to the car around 3:00

Today, despite not finding anyone to go with, I cruised up to Turnagain and hiked Tincan. It was clear overhead at my house when i left, and by the time i got to Tern Lake it was a complete whiteout. Everyone was pumped for the snow at Tincan parking lot and it was a great day to be up there. I hiked about three quarters of it today due to avalanche hazards and rode a great line through the trees to the skiers right of the parking lot. There was waist deep snow all the way down. I didn't take my camera up because it would have been soaked by the time i got back to the car, but I did take some photo's to show you how much snow there was today. I have included a photo that shows where Tincan is in the pass and if you look for "Tincan Common" on the photo, that is usually where we hike to. The Chugach National Forest's Avalanche Center web site is here. It is a great website for weather cams when driving through the pass, checking avalanche conditions and it's recently been remodeled so it's now super user friendly.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Turnagain Arm from the top of Tincan

Skin Removal

Today Jordan and I met at Turnagain pass lot and skinned up Tincan mountain. Jordan recently got an A/T set up similair to mine and he is taking every free day to get used to it. Rondonee or A/T is sort of a cross between telemarking and downhill skiing. With A/T gear you can use skins and free your heel on the hike up, and then lock your heel down and alpine ski down. The light was marginal, but we did get a little sun here and there. We started hiking around noon and were the last ones on the mountain by our descent at 3:30. We had a blast and it was great to be back in the mountains. I really love these pictures and I think that the mountain shots are some of the best I have captured yet. I have been learning a lot about the camera with the help of Erik (many, many phone calls at odd hours) and the D-90 is super rewarding and worth every cent.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I apologize for a blank week of posts. While i haven't been posting, I have been taking photographs. This Redoubt climb has been weighing on my mind lately and it seems to be all i can think about. Tyler Johnson emailed me tonight as he happened to be in town for a meeting and we met up at kaladi brothers to discuss Redoubt. Tyler and two others summited redoubt two summers ago. Their trip was unique in that they crossed the inlet in a zodiac and climbed beach to summit and back, skinning all the way up, and skiing back down. Tyler had great pointers and some good pictures. We are still piecing together the group that will head over in May and so far it is a great group. These photo's were taken throughout this last week and the daylight ones were taken today. We are due for some snow this weekend and hopefully soon after the skis will be on the airplane for the winter.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jordan's Surprise

Jordan's girlfriend Barb had been planning a surprise party for him down at my place on friday, so that day, I met up with the traveling party goers at the skyline parking lot and the the men went up skyline while the ladies went back into town to get ready for the evening. We had great weather on skyline with a little snow on the top ridge. That evening we came back to a spaghetti dinner and a great evening with new and old friends alike. I snagged a pretty good cold yesterday so i have been laying low, thinking of heading up to the pass tomorrow if i'm feeling better and the weather holds.
hope all is well,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wax 'em up

Had a pretty domestic day gettin ready for winter, cleaned the garage, swept the floor, waxed the sticks. Got a quote for a bathroom renovation and new flooring yesterday. The bathroom is going to look really nice after the remodel. Robert Batson came over and said that the bathroom actually looks pretty good (I was worried about some mold issues) and suggested a few things that will really spruce it up. Looking at new flooring, new toilet, new sink and light fixtures and possibly some new tile for the shower. Big plans that could come to fruition after Turnaround out at tesoro this spring with some sweet overtime cash. Enjoy these pictures taken with the new camera and Picasa editing!Cheers