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  1. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    750
    This post is freaking great!! Welcome to the U.S. Must be a wild change!!
    Shameless spam: Trip reports and Gear reviews and if you want to support what I do follow me on Instagram @KyleMiller411

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    148
    More please. I spent two summers up there in the nineties. Great trip down memory lane for me here. Reminds me I need to get my kids up there and show them around.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Eagle River Alaska
    Posts
    10,909
    This thread reminds me of why I live here.
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    the gach
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    5,494
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    If you need convincing there are people from Alaska in Alaska than maybe your next TR should be from the Mecca Bar.
    Ahh shit get meccanized!!

    This is an awesome thread how did I not see it until today. I lived in Fairbanks when I was a kid we moved after 6th grade. Lots of great times up there.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
    Posts
    2,695
    Some updates. It's been a while but life can be a little overwhelming sometimes and then it drowns out the internet.

    October: The time of year when the snow sucks but at least there's not much of it.

    First ski attempt of the new season.




    Better to go hiking for now.




    Breezy.



    November: Contrast.

    Kind people have taken it upon themselves to introduce me to Alaska cabin trips. This means going to a cabin, hanging out there for a bit and eating food.

    Some cabins have lakes.


    And rivers.


    Because the world is a wild place, the next sunset I saw was this one.


    nutmegchoi: “Of course I'll drive to downtown and then give you a brooklyn tour, I love driving in NYC, you just have to be more aggressive than everyone else!!”



    After that interlude, there was another cabin with a longer approach, hot springs and naked people and no, I am not going to leave my skins on for the descent to slow me down, do you know what skiing is, OMG.









    December: Rocks and hard places, coming home for christmas.

    Exploratory walk up a Deltas drainage, you know, just because.




    Okay, we are still talking to each other and kind of had fun sort of, so this went well, right? We are friends now? (Making friends as an adult is weird. Haven't had to do that in a while. 3 hours of driving to slog up some weird valley onto some weirder glacier to ski on rocks and then driving 3 hours back home doesn't seem like the worst way of doing it.)



    I went home over the holidays.

    This is not Alaska.


    New year, new day.



    The best kind of grey.



    Good bye for now, home hills.
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
    Posts
    2,695
    January: Oddly warm.

    Richardson views.



    How bad can a 7 mile approach through the flat to the start of the glacier and a mild uphill trajectory really be?

    Uuhhh. I'm supposed to be afraid of moose, right?


    We got a pull from some friendly sledders so did not spend as much time in moose country as we otherwise would have.







    Getting closer.


    Still getting closer, hut now in view.


    Other things also in view.


    It's January in the Alaska range but we're also having a heat wave so this whole trip was really quite pleasant temperaturewise.


    We walked around a bit the next day and then skied out because we have jobs to get to (ugh) and there are those 7 miles of flat once it stops going downhill (ugh) and the 3.5 hour drive (ugh).





    February: Roadside turns, where not to find them.

    Apparently there is not going to be much snow this year. Roadside turns off the Parks highway not forthcoming.

    This looks crap and it was but be tried anyway and turned around at the first choke because it started getting very slabby.


    Fantastic access though, considering.


    Stoke levels through the roof.


    Tried again a couple of weeks later, three hills over. Some room for improvement. Making friends through shitty skiing still going well though.
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
    Posts
    2,695
    There were so many Skiland and Moose and Ester Dome days and after work stealth tours (and whatever the opposite of stealth is) and that's pretty much what kept me sane most of the time, but I'll stick with the more mountainy excursions for now.

    February part 2: Creeks, hopefully frozen, part 1

    By Deltas standards, two hours up a creek full of alder is a pretty acceptable approach. Here we have gotten past that first obstacle.



    K & F approach the sunshine tentatively.



    While M immediately goes all out.



    Starting to feel that 4:00 am wake up.



    Pretty Princess.



    This seems like a good spot to call it, not gonna get to the summit anyway and the skiing is just gonna get worse going further up.



    Variable snow quality.



    Excellent sunset tree skiing on the way out.







    March: Creeks, hopefully frozen, part 2

    This is the river we cross to get to the creek.


    We are not alone in the creek.


    We have emerged from the creek.


    We should go to the ridge and watch the sunset.


    Home for the night with fantastic view of the creek.


    Other side.


    Other other side.


    Bootie time


    Good night.


    Views.


    Hm.


    Hm hm.


    K quote of the day: “Man the guys in Fairbanks are on the weird side but the women are fucking rad.”


    Circumstance leads to a long weekend in Girdwood, K and I drive down, A drives up. Upon arrival, K and I are immediately offered ski passes in the parking lot by people who are leaving because it's 2 pm and raining half way up the mountain. It pretty much keeps pouring all weekend and I like it because it is different from the non-weather in Fairbanks. Sticky second day at Tincan, just about snowing at the pass. A twists her knee and takes a rest day, K and I go back for an even stickier third day. They figure out I have never tried mac and cheese and so we have Annie's mac and cheese for dinner, after a brief discussion of whether or not it is appropriate that my first mac and cheese experience comes from a box. (It is, and they added some veggies to make it gourmet.) Ladies night at the Sitzmark so we go see a bluegrass band for free. On the way home, a stop at Hatcher for a short ski on Microdot. Lessons in applied communication with K, who may be the wisest person I know.

    Relief to have a few days with nothing to do but ski.



    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    21,334
    Nice pics and blog. Glad you got to try some box Mac and cheese.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  9. #84
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    Dec 2005
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    10,893
    This is a klar appreciation post.

    And I guess that I just don't know

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wish I knew?
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    2,625
    What hut did you go to in January?

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    372
    I love this thread.

    As for mac and cheese, I'm sorry that Annie's was your first experience. My wife buys it for the kids because it's organic and natural or some other nonsense but I think it's difficult to choke down. As far as boxed mac and cheese goes, the ultra processed kraft really is the gold standard. A good homemade mad and cheese really can be a nice thing....

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    2,640
    Quote Originally Posted by Buke View Post
    I love this thread.

    As for mac and cheese, I'm sorry that Annie's was your first experience. My wife buys it for the kids because it's organic and natural or some other nonsense but I think it's difficult to choke down. As far as boxed mac and cheese goes, the ultra processed kraft really is the gold standard. A good homemade mad and cheese really can be a nice thing....
    she is in Alaska. Have to throw some spam in with the Kraft. Good to see you out winter camping.
    off your knees Louie

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKPogue View Post
    What hut did you go to in January?
    The USGS shack on Gulkana. Would be really cool as a base for a few days I think if you had snow machines to get to the hut and then toured from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buke View Post
    As for mac and cheese, I'm sorry that Annie's was your first experience. My wife buys it for the kids because it's organic and natural or some other nonsense but I think it's difficult to choke down. As far as boxed mac and cheese goes, the ultra processed kraft really is the gold standard. A good homemade mad and cheese really can be a nice thing....
    I thought it tasted pretty good, kind of surprised at the lack of actual cheese? it tastes somewhat cheesy but the texture of melted cheese is missing? it's sort of cheesy liquid?


    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    she is in Alaska. Have to throw some spam in with the Kraft.
    My time here is rapidly coming to an end and I have been all sorts of nostalgic and I keep wondering how much of what goes on here is 'Alaska' and how much is 'USA'. The odd mix of people, the very special social microcosm of my academia bubble, the confusing towns (what even is North Pole?), the guns, the motorsports with guns, the motorsports with guns and really small children, the thing where everyone seemingly throws trash out of the car windows in winter and then comes together as a community in summer to pick it all up (???), the seriously massive military bases 'hidden' in the middle of nowhere, etc. How does Fairbanks compare to a town of similar size somewhere in, like, the midwest, or the more backwater parts of the PNW?

    Spent a week or so at Thompson pass in April. Roadside vert and time off and a ski partner! All the things I have been missing! OMG!!



    I seriously cannot overstate how great it feels to start going uphill straight from the road, without alder or other obstacles.




    Snow machine roar behind us and the snow smells like gasoline, but they were friendly and also left us this, so.




    The Books picture everyone takes from the road



    Also this


    Not all that well thought out but very scenic glacier loop the next day:






    Some grey weather, also fine.




    Then we got ourselves into slightly more of an 'out there' situation.


    With my time consuming desk job in the mountain challenged location of Fairbanks, I have been experiencing a lot of the apparently well known feeling of “I can almost see the cool parts of Alaska from here but I'm certainly not going to get there”. This little plane drop helped a lot. We didn't really ski much of anything because we didn't have enough time, mostly just traversed from A to B on a huge, hugely flat glacier and didn't quite trust the snow, but it was still so worth it.



    Greeted by a little serac fall.


    Evening views.


    Noon views


    Couple of turns


    couple more turns before we get back to the really flat part


    Do not like


    Do like




    We skied out after 2 nights because there were other flights that needed to be caught and "skiing out" was something of an adventure too.


    All's well that ends well, right? (he is smiling because we made it over the lake and I'm going to be the one who walks down the road to hitch a ride and get the car)
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,135
    +++++!!!!!
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
    Posts
    2,695
    Late April:

    Another weekend of wandering up a drainage in the Deltas accompanied by the rhythmic song of facet layers collapsing every ten steps and the hum of distant snow machines.

    K demonstrates dramatic cornice huck with skins.



    K presents facets.


    Up, up, up. (more like: up, very slowly, no it is not completely flat.)


    Tent/cave




    Bluebird!



    K presents more facets.



    We decide not to ski the thing.


    Other people did things on the other side.


    Posing for the gram.


    Down, down, down (see up, up, up)



    ****************************************

    Early May: Example of a typical day of spring skiing in the Alaska Range from Fairbanks

    3:50 The alarm does not ring. Awake anyway because it's too light out and birds are screaming in celebration.

    4:10 Not going to fall asleep again. Might as well go skiing, I guess.

    5:00 Departure.

    7:00 Purchase fuel and medium exciting pastry in Delta Junction

    8:00 Okay, this doesn't look great. But I'm here now. Maybe it hasn't slid completely and there is something smooth on the sides?



    8:30 Here we go. I'll put my skis on the pack, there is hardly any snow in the forest.

    8:38 Right, I am taking my skis off my pack and skinning. Once I have extracted myself from being stuck to my hips in rotten old depth hoar.

    8:50 You don't need snow to skin, skins work just fine on moss and moose poop.



    9:10 Made it through the forest! Skis back on pack because there definitely isn't any snow here.

    9:30 I guess I could try booting up the snow in the gully, might be easier than the scree.

    9:35 Nope. Punching through melt crust into facets, sinking in to my knees. Hard to get foot out because somehow crust is only breakable from above, not when you try to break it from below because your foot is stuck.

    10:00 Definitely in the snow now. Going to try skinning. Will the crust hold? Exciting!

    10:05 This is going better than expected. Making progress. Also, cool to actually be doing vertical from the road, I tend to forget how that feels.

    10:15 So the whole thing slid, huh? No smooth snow on the sides?



    10:25 Put on crampons, skis on pack. Why am I doing this? The skiing is going to suck.

    10:35 This is the second golf ball sized rock that flew by my head, should I be concerned? Let's take a gopro selfie while we contemplate this.



    10:45 Okay gonna go up to that big rock just to look around the corner.



    10:50 Rocks falling down are no longer golf ball size, more like oranges. This seems like a good time to turn around.



    11:00 Yup the skiing sucks.

    11:10 Those last 5 turns were actually kind of okay.

    11:11 Punching through the crust again now. Skis sink and do not resurface, breaking crust with shins as skis keep moving below the crust. Stop by leaning really far back.

    11:20 Gonna traverse over to the creek so I can avoid the forest.



    11:30 Almost at the creek, this was pretty easy.

    11:35 Alder. Can't see more than 2m ahead. Bears?

    11:38 Gonna sing to alert bears. You've got me on my knees, Layla. Laaaaylaaaa.

    11:40 I don't know the rest of the lyrics to this. Does this song even have more words?

    11:42 I don't know any other songs?



    11:5 Creek! Smooth back seat power wedge through rocks to road.

    12:00 Back at car.

    13:00 Purchase jalapeño poppers in Delta Junction. How do people know what all the different kinds of fried lumps they sell here are? I have learned one heap of fried lumps is jalapeño poppers but I have no idea what the rest is and it makes me uncomfortable.

    14:15 Roadside nap.

    16:30 Arrival.
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  16. #91
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Posts
    10,893
    More FKNA goodness from klar.

    Speaking from my (rather long ago) 12 years living in FBK, yes, it is an odd mix of people and no, it isn’t really like the midwest or BFE PNW. The AK setting has a strong effect on the social fabric...although come to think of it, I’ve never been to North Dakota.
    And I guess that I just don't know

  17. #92
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    849
    I can see I need to go back and read the rest of this most Excellent thread

    ( This is Why I love tgr forums. Thank you, K. ) tj
    " ... I will do anything to go Skiing ... There Is no pride ... " (Miriam , 2005-2006 epic)

    Dec21, 2016. LittleBigLost :
    " I think about it everyday. It is my reminder to live life to the fullest. I get up early, go to bed late, 'cuz I got shit to do. Like I said, I'm 61. Not going to wait till I'm 81 to do stuff, ...

    Get out there and do stuff!

    Enjoy life to the fullest!!

    See you on the slopes! "

  18. #93
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,654
    klar= coolest ever. wow. wow.

  19. #94
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wish I knew?
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    2,625
    Never heard of the USGS hut that's up there. There are some other huts around there that the Alaska Alpine Club put up. I hiked up the door for the lower canwell hut.
    http://www.alaskaalpineclub.com/alpine-huts
    The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.

  20. #95
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Love it! Keep up the good work K!

  21. #96
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    180
    This is fantastic! Loved it!

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