Alaska Range Coffee

April is ski touring month. It's also Cathy's birthday and our anniversary. Sometimes we combine all three into a grand event, like touring the Haute Route in 2011 and the Whale's Tail in 2012. This year we flew into the Alaska Range and toured out the Coffee River. Andy Newton joined us. After 17 years together, Cathy and I could handle sharing a small tent with Andy for our anniversary.  

Weighing gear at Talkeetna Air Taxi. Our bags were small and TAT thought we'd starve. 

Alaska Range!

We dumped our camping gear among a bunch of other tents and made some runs. 

It was all crusty. 

Back at camp we hung with Jim Sogi and Dave Burns in their Hilleberg Atlas.

Here's Cathy, Andy and I trying to break free of the comfortable base camp. The other base campers were heavily sponsored by Upslope Brewing Company.

Camp two above the Coffee River. 

Big gulp coffee!

Looking out to the Chulitna River and Talkeetna Mountains. 

Every proper ski tour has survival skiing and shrubbery. 

Touring out the beautiful Coffee River. 

Trees are important for ski touring: to make fires for roasting tubular meats. 

In scouts you learn to start a fire by rubbing a girl scout and boy scout together. Cathy and I do that real well. She's a First Class Girl Scout and I'm an Eagle Scout. Also in scouts we learned to smoke pine needles rolled up in birch bark. 

The Chulitna River was breaking up, so we got a pickup at Spink Lake. Nails protruding from the cabin walls kept the bears away, but inside porcupines had a party and trashed the place. 

Priorities: tiger shoes, then beer, then burgers. Thanks for a great trip Cathy and Andy!