After having my plans for skiing Queens Chair (pictured above) on Wednesday squashed, I headed up there yesterday hoping to find some new terrain. I almost immediately turned back as there were 30 to 40 swans on the trail and I wasn’t in the mood to get attacked by mean spirited birds.

alaska skiing

Moving up the creek through the trees went quick and I was on my skins a little over an hour after leaving my car. The terrain in the Queens chair bowl is a lot mire extensive then it looks from the road or above the lake with a bunch of east and south facing lines that don’t reveal themselves till your standing at their base. Being solo I was leaning towards booting up a chute thinking that would be the safer route to some steep turns, but with multiple options it took me awhile to decide on a short west facing line with a huge apron.

cordova alaska skiing

The snow was nothing but unconsolidated spindriff that seemed to have been blown in from behind but was feeling safe untill I was about 100 feet from the top and triggered some windslab above me. Luckily I was able to roll twice to my left and stab my skis (which were in my hand) into the bed surface and bring myself to a stop.  Feeling like a fool from the close call I hung out for nearly an hour on the side of the slope enjoying the view, laughing, and getting my thoughts together before skiing down. The apron with its frozen over boulders covered in light powder skied fantastic and reminded me off Jimmy’s line off the Pinnacle from a few years back.

cordova alaska skiing

Humbled but without a thanksgiving dinner to attend and plenty of perfect snow and sunshine to go around I skinned up a mellower route and took a second run through a field of giant boulders that was quite cool. Its still sunny in Cordova so hopefully more good skiing soon.

cordova alaska skiing