Midwinter in Alaska takes patience. It weeds people out. This winter took extra patience. But now spring is here and the snow is mostly stable. And the daylight feels endless. It is the euphoria time of year.
Starting our spring was a weekend of touring at Hatcher Pass in the Talkeetna Mountains. Sixteen inches of powder blanketed the old snow.
On Saturday morning we toured up Birthday Pass and over the other side. Here's Jeff Conaway on our first run.
Eric Parsons continued down a steep chute filled with fluff.
Cathy finished the run below this beautiful wall.
We did find a few patches of unstable snow in Willow Creek. Jeff and Eric u-turned after a whoomph and shooting crack.
Following a low angle route, we made it to the summit in late afternoon.
Eric on our last run of the day. Rae Wallace Chutes in the low background.
Jeff making zee dry ski.
And flaunting his 1990's Doug Coombs style in the lower chute.
The next day we went to Arkose Ridge. Cathy started a fruitless search for moguls and crud.
Jeff spotting Najeeby Quinn and Cathy as they skin in big terrain. The weak layer we dodged the day before was absent at Arkose.
Hatcher-style spines and chutes.
Jeff on our final 2500-foot run of the day. Thanks for a great weekend Cathy, Jeff, El Parsones and Najeeby! It was worth waiting all winter!