The Pinnacle

"There will be tears. If we don't ski The Pinnacle." I told Maddog.

Last spring, I made two attempts to ski The Pinnacle at Hatcher Pass. First with Jeff Conaway and then with Paddy Sullivan. This time I cheated. I brought Dana Drummond. I figured his laps on Fitzroy and El Cap would be adequate training to lead The Pinnacle's summit pitch. 

Yes! The access gully avalanched the day before! Now we have no excuses. Allie Barker's advisory on the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center site was right on: "Pockets of moderate exist at upper elevations near ridgelines."Yeah Allie!

We booted up the avalanche-scour. Like my earlier attempts, the skiers the day before stopped 40 feet from the summit. 

It's getting steep, D Dog. You scared yet?

Okay, now take those ice tools and stick that rope on the summit for me. 

That's a very good Maddog. Your treat will be skiing this face.

Fitzroy and El Cap trained D-Dizzle to belay while sleeping. 

Talkeetnas and the Chugach.

Fifty degrees and exposure become fun in perfect snow.

Even the avalanche-scour down the access gully was great skiing. 

Launching into perfect Talkeetna pow. 


Free-skiing to the parking lot. 

Boasting about our grandiose exploits to Kevin Wright at the Fishhook bar. No tears in my beers.