Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yesterday was epic

My brother Josh got in Monday and will be staying for about three weeks. Determined not to let work get in the way too much, I took a personal day yesterday and we headed out for a little backcountry skiing and exploring. Here's Josh leading the charge:When we started, visibility was mediocre and there was about six inches of fresh snow from the night before. By day's end, the six inches had grown to fourteen and the light was about as flat as it gets.

After skinning about a mile and gaining modest elevation, we came to our destination--the steep slope I watched snowmobilers wallow around on a few weeks ago. Since reports indicated the snow had stabilized, we hoped to get some steep turns in. We dug a snowpit and performed a compression test. Things were looking good. Nothing sheared during our compression test until we hammered on the snow as hard as we could repeatedly. Onword, searching for a way around a band of rocks:We eventually abandoned the skins and booted up the final pitch:Getting beat by the wind on the way up:After poking around a bit on the top trying to figure out the best descent line, I dropped in. As expected, there was tons of sluff from the new snow--much more than I had ever experienced. When combined with the steep pitch and my alpine-skier-in-telemark-gear getup, skiing the initial pitch was one hell of an adrenaline rush--more than I had had in years. Josh followed and met me at a safe spot beneath some rocks half way down the initial pitch:With the poor visibility, we never were able to get a good picture of the entire pitch. However, Josh caught this gem of me making turns near the bottom of the face--check out that ridiculous grin:The snow was incredible--you could have used a snorkel. Here's Josh reflecting on the best turns either of us ever had:With the light getting poor, we had just enough time for one final run through the trees. Here I am trying not to run into the largest snowflake ever:A very good day, indeed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Alaska bound

The Wife and I pulled the trigger yesterday and decided to accept a new job in Anchorage, AK! I'll start in a couple months and there's at least a small chance that The Wife can retain her current employment (although in a slightly different capacity). It's all very exciting.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I spent much of the past week in Anchorage chasing work and hanging out with friends. Having never been to Anchorage this time of year, I was eager to experience the cold and daylight (or lack thereof). As expected, the temperatures were cold, with highs around 10-15F. The day length was tolerable--getting light around 8:30am and dark around 5:30pm.

After a long day of travel and a drink with my good friends Ashley and George at Humpy's, we were greated by two moose on our walk home--both were right downtown. This guy was munching on shrubs in Ashley and George's neighbor's yard. The second moose, a giant cow, scared the bejesus out of us when it made it's presence known by jumping through a hedgerow and nearly landing on top of us. I may have to think twice about making fun of stupid tourists in Yellowstone that get too close to animals in the future...

After a day touring around Anchorage, we headed out to Alyeska to take advantage of a superbowl two-for-one deal on lift tickets. Althought the snow was a bit tracked out, we had a great time. Heading up the lift:Ashley and George trying to stay warm:Even with skiing, we were able to take in the epic fourth quarter of the superbowl before heading back into town. I flew out of Anchorage on Wednesday after scoping out town and meeting with a few folks regarding possible employment (another blog post to follow, perhaps). I got to meet up with a few of The Wife's friends, Megan and Steph, and managed to explore a few of Anchorage's many parks. All in all, a pretty good trip.