As the year moves forwards the sun is arriving earlier and staying later, which each day has given us an additional 5 minutes of daylight to spend chasing the snow. With the sun rising a couple of minutes before nine,  I can now look outside through my bedroom window and get some idea of the weather (other then “oh it’s still dark”) before I even get out of bed.  Except that the last two days, my in-bed predictions for the day have been completely wrong.  Maybe it is the west facing exposure of my window, or the fact that the Anchorage weather isn’t at all indicative of what is going on in the pass; I don’t know.  The last two mornings I’ve glanced out the window and been subdued by what looked like high clouds, only to reluctantly get up a few minutes later, stumble down the stairs and get blinded by the sun coming in through the sliding glass door as I turn for the kitchen searching for a glass of water.  The last two days have been clear and cold (as the more loyal readers will have already gathered) with no wind, but plenty of sun. 

We were able to get the snowmachines out both Saturday and Sunday.  My sled ran great (thanks to Mikey’s work) and Max got to rally his new sled (2008 xp 600 rs) for the first time since Hunter and I delivered it in early January.  He claims, and it seemed to my beginner’s eye, that it ran very well.  The things Mikey and Max are able to do on the short tracks amazes me.  So it was the chad street house joined by Jesse for both days, and Graham for Sunday.  We headed up Tell-A-Lie saturday, where we were again warned by a cheerful local not to speak too publicly about the place.  He openly fears, with good reason,  the day word gets out and the quiet valley (there were 8 people saturday) turning in to another Turnagain.  So I’ll keep it brief, and mention only that we skied the face in the photo above.  The approach was easy, after some sled climbing, we hiked for 10 minutes.  The skiing in the depressions was done on  the perfect surfing snow found within them.

Max and Graham enjoy a little time in the sun

Max and Graham enjoy a little time in the sun

Sunday we went to Placer and up to Squirrel Flats.  I’d taken Charlie’s sled up there last year in the spring, but last May there was lot more snow on the trail last then yesterday.  The trail up was rutted, steep, aldery and the hardest thing I’ve had to do on the sled yet.  I got bounced around, almost thrown off twice or thrice, and felt out of control for most of the climb.  I only made it to the top thanks to the guidance of Max, Mikey and Jesse, my experienced snowmachining mentors.  As we came to the top of the trail we climbed back in to the sunshine, up above an inversion where we spent the rest of the day.  Graham and I started with a couple of quick ghost ride laps on the sleds; hike free powder turns are always a treat.  Then, with Max, we moved on to a nice run off the shoulder of a neighboring peak, where we again found flawless surfing powder.  After some more sledding  we took a long third to cap the day.  At the top of our last run we even received a visit from a goat, and on friday Max received news he had won a lottery to hunt a goat this year, hopefully Sunday’s encounter isn’t his last.

I took advantage of some easy turns

I took advantage of some easy turns

The skiing has been world class for about three weeks now, and the last two days have left me drained today.  I know we haven’t been alone in enjoying the weather either.  We saw evidence of Team Hope while driving through the pass saturday morning, and yesterday bumped into the kids from Powder Tour in the Placer parking lot.  The crowds were out in full force for the weekend.  Saturday while filling up we talked to a state trooper,  Carl from the avalanche center about some snowmobile ski racks being given away for free, and a euro trash kid in an all white suit who acted aggressive because he had the same sled as Max and Mikey.  Great times all around, it was evident from all the smiles on everyone we came across that we weren’t alone in having a good time.  We took a lot of video this weekend (thanks to Mikey’s hard work) and will try to get something up in the next day or two.

Graham modeling his sled, vest and homemade skis

Graham modeling his sled, vest and homemade skis

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