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Wednesday
Jan042012

Wolverine Creek

Turnagain is like a Grimms' Fairy Tale about a mystical paradise for backcountry skiers. Where the trees hang heavy with a winter coat of snow and the mountain sides are draped with fat powder. The locals frolic across this land. They laugh and smile and know there is no better place on the planet. 

That's what Turnagain has reminded me over the past few days. 

Jeff Conaway, Peter Thurston and I headed back Wolverine Creek to visit a new part of this mystical land. We skinned with our eyes up, looking at the mountains that hung in a soft haze of ice crystals, like a 100-year old painting. Wolverine Creek is one of eight main drainages on the non-motorized side of Turnagain Pass.  

 

At the head of the valley we skied lower angle slopes to keep the roaring sluffs at a manageable level. 

 

Peter lived in Girdwood back in the day. Now he lives in Salt Lake City, where the snow isn't happening. He came up for a month of Alaska's finest product.  

 

The next day I returned with my wife Cathy, Gretchen and Ben. Gretchen and Ben just returned from a semester down south expanding their brains. They were sooooo glad to be home. 

 

Ben's PhD had taken him to Juneau. He skied Eagle Crest ski area during breaks from the confuser. Back home he skis between glide cracks on the south side of Eddies.  

 

We finished the day with a 2,000-foot chute on the north slopes of Eddies. Since there was no light in the chute I took photos of the alpenglow on this thing. Yeah this thing. This thing is starting to bug me. 

 

Then I spent a day with Kevan Dee on a Tincan grand tour. Kevan grew up on a farm in northeast Colorado. Now he sells drill bits on the Slope, three weeks on, three weeks off. Kevan knows that AK rules!

 

Kevan on the summit of Tincan, ready to leave the light and drop into Todd's Run. Kevan saw the light in this Grimms' fairytale land and never wants to leave. I hope you don't Kevan. That was a blast!