Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting ready for Oregon

Work is taking me to Oregon at the end of this month and, since The Wife and I haven't visited my family in what seems like an eternity, we'll be spending a few days down in Medford visiting the folks.  With the Rogue so close and my dad's drift boat spending far too much time out of the water, I plan to chase steelhead at least a couple days. 

My best days on the Rogue have always been in the fall so I'm not sure what to expect on the fishing front.  However, I'm doing my best to load the fly boxes and it'd be a shame not to get on the water.  After all, it's hard to beat a float even if the fishing's slow.

In other news, backcountry skiing is shut down.  It's raining at lower elevations and the warm weather and new snow/rain has made backcountry skiing on anything but the flattest slopes dicy, at best.  The slope I skied in the prior post has slid and three people (two snowmobilers and a skier) died in avalanches on Saturday.  All the reason I need to stay home and tie flies.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dawn patrol

As far as I can tell, the key to getting through Alaskan winters is to stay busy and not be dissuaded by the lack of daylight and colder weather.  While it's easy to sit back and slurp beers through the dark days of winter, it takes a lot more effort to get off your arse and do something active.

With sunrise around 9:00 and the days getting light enough long enough to get outside a bit during the week, my friend Derek and I decided to head out for a quick ski before work this past Friday.  Our plan was to hit the trailhead at 7:30, skin up Peak 3 until about 8:30, and point the tips down just as it got light enough to see.  The faint blue arrow points to our destination:
After meeting up at Derek's house and making the short drive up to the trailhead, we started our skin right on schedule.
By 8:30, it was light enough to see and, although we had agreed to turn back by then, we gave it another 15 minutes hoping to get a little closer to the top.  Having skinned about 1500 vertical feet, with about 500 to go until the top, we hit our 8:45 deadline and reluctantly turned back toward the truck (and work).
Derek, most of the way back to the truck and looking back at the peak:
We were back at the truck by 9:15 and I was in my office at my desk by 10:15.  All in all, not a bad way to start the day.  Next time, we'll leave 20 minutes earlier and make it all the way to the peak.