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Tuesday
May082012

Eklutna Descents

In early May Andy Zimet came up for a week of Guided Ski Mountaineering in the Western Chugach. Alpine Air gave us a lift from Girdwood to the lower Sparrow Glacier. We stashed our overnight gear and skied peaks the entire first day. 

Andy on Ski Peak II. Andy is from Whitefish, Montana where he anesthetizes as little as possible and skis as much as possible. 

 

Andy on Ski Peak II with Ski Peak I behind.

  

Contemplating the 50-degree first turns on the north face of Sparrow Peak.

We spent our first night at Rosies Roost, an Eklutna Traverse hut above the Eagle Glacier established by the Mountaineering Club of Alaska.

   

The next day we took the direct gully route to the MCA Hans Hut high above the Whiteout Glacier.  

 

From Hans Hut we pumped ski laps on Hut Peak.

 

And skied from Blackout Pass down toward the Eagle Glacier.

 

The lower slopes of Blackout Pass.

 

Then a raging storm pinned us in Hans Hut for two days. We froze in the ice box hut, read Bonnington's sagas from Annapurna and Everest, drank coffee, looked out the window for clearing and studied our bowline on a coil from a second edition of the Freedom of the Hills. 

 

We escaped the hut at the first clearing. 

And headed back to Rosie's for more skiing. The storm dropped about four feet of thick slab over low-density fluff creating a creepy slabby feel to the snow, although we saw few avalanches and the powder skiing was great.

 

Andy dining in at the Silvertip Grill in Girdwood an hour after skiing out the Raven Glacier. Great skiing with you Andy!