High winds and periodic snow made sitting in the office all last week painless. With the adverse weather coming midweek I knew the only thing I was missing while in the office was long hours face first on the couch. Friday, expecting our mercilessly random weather to show it’s abrasive side Saturday, or at best leave us with horrible instability, I promised Kim and Max I’d be social, and possibly go out for a change.

Friday night didn’t work out as planned. After work Max ordered “The Motherload” a 256 piece knife set (with 7 Earnhardt switch blades, 12 pearl multi-tools and a broadsword) from that cooky QVC style Knife Show, I always half suspected of being a farce. The thought of a giant box of worthless knives arriving on my door step got me laughing, and eventually drinking Jim Beam. It wasn’t long afterwards, while enjoying my book, that I realized I was reading with only one eye, decided I should stand up, crashed to the floor, and crawled my way to the couch where I passed out face down. I woke up hours later, it was still dark, but conveniently, thanks to our far western timezone, was able to turn over and catch the Michigan game halfway through the first quarter.

Sunbursts Wasatch impersonation

Sunburst's Wasatch impersonation

As that started to turn ugly I slowly became distracted by more urgent and less depressing concerns, like the level of sunshine in Turnagain Pass or whether Somali Pirates are rum drinkers. Max called, just as I’d seen evidence of sunshine in Portage, saying he was at the shop buying some AT boots. He’d woken up next to a loaded .45, decided to get new boots on the drive home (a full 24 hours of impulse shopping) and would be ready to go in an hour. I got started on lunch (we bring food now!) while watching Real Madrid crumble against Valladolid.

Despite the dire avalanche warnings the pass was absolutely slammed with people, in a typical early season fury that will hopefully die down once Alyeska opens and distracts most of them. Max and I avoided Sunburst, with it’s Wasatch like crowds, and headed up Magnum, where there was a skin track, but only 2 sets of turns. We didn’t see anyone going up, but were able to watch the ant farm like chaos on Sunburst, as groups of black specks climbed and descended from the ridge.

We took our time up top, dawdling around, checking out a fallen cornice that survived the summer and eating smoked salmon burritos as the sun sank. We dropped off the south western side of Magnum into Davis Creek and took advantage of the nice new snow, that was a light fluffy 18″ with a delicate wind crust which was detectable with a ski pole but became imperceptible once moving. The surface hoar was glittering and the snow died in a warm twilight orange as we descended toward the creek, before working right towards the car. We found a decent path at first, but as we got lower we ended up in a full brown bear style thrash through thick alders that had me wondering if Max’s new knife set included a machete while laughing about the people that would follow our idiotic path looking for an easy way out. We hacked our way out just before dark, and headed back to Anchorage hoping the sun would hold for Sunday.

looking towards Davis Creek just after dusk

looking towards Davis Creek just after dusk

I’d like to say we returned for more on Sunday, but despite another lame early exit from the night’s events (again face first on the couch), Max ended up blacked out, banned from all downtown bars, and eventually in handcuffs at a lame discotheque. Charlie’s warnings of thick fog kept us rooted at home, passing the day with books, talk of Kim’s new Russian woman and hours of PES before being nursed to sleep by the some Italian soccer. More to come real soon, winter is just getting started.

Friends Update:

  • It looks like winter has come to Montana and that Bo is taking advantage.
  • A loyal reader and ex-Utard steered me towards this post. So I guess Alta has opened for the season. The true gem though is this photo which was described to me by the reader as “typical of what happens when you combine a luger, a slutty skier, and the boredom Utah.” I laughed, but will abstain from commenting.
  • Some people enjoyed themselves on Tin Can this weekend as well.