Every now and again, the stars align for amazing days, and May 3 was definitely one of those days . . . we assembled a crew of Kathy and Eric the Viking, Galen Johnston, Eben Sargeant, and myself to attempt Eagle Peak . . . we knew it would be a long day and wondered if the alders down low would shut us down, if the couloir would get too warm, etc. but felt like we had to give it a try, so off we went . . .
We had an 8am start from the Eagle River Nature Center and walked up the trail to Echo Bend where we crossed the river.
Eric keeping his feet dry!
Out of the alders, climbing the lower apron of the mountain
It was here that my skins started glopping – lame!!!
From there came the super long marathon bootpack up the big face/couloir, transitioning into the tiny steep couloir and onto the face near the peak . . . that’s where it got steep and deep, but the snowpack was solid and gave us the confidence to venture into the new fall line and up to the peak . . .
The skiing was excellent! I was first off the peak, which was super steep and technical – I was really nervous about sluff taking me down the wrong fall line, but that didn’t end up being a problem. The turns into the little coolie were techy, and then it was steep jump turns, with the final transition into the wide openness of the main line . . .
In this photo center, you can see the upper couloir, and a skier on the main line . . . big alpine terrain for sure!
Eagle River visible below, great skiing where we’re at 🙂
At the base of the technical skiing, ready to transition to alder navegating . . . but for now, joyous and celebratory!
There are some classic alder pics out there, but alas! I don’t have em ., . . but it was class IV alders for sure! We followed the river out after that, re-uniting with the trail again at Campground Rapids and hiking back out to the car for a 10pm return and the conclusion of our 14 hr day!
Wow, what a great day! Truly one of the best lines I’ve skied in Alaska and such a classic group to ski it with – a true joy 🙂
Be the first to comment