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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,701

    Cairn Peak - Ptarmigan Glacier - Rare sunny pow day in AK spring

    Fourth attempt to ski Cairn Couloir, fourth failure. Damn outflow winds off the icefield always load this thing up with wind loading. Got some new snow last week, and the damn wind loading was awful with a lot of spontaneous slides on similar aspects. Couldn't talk ourselves into it. Tried another couloir entry lower on the mountain, same issue. Opted to yo-yo laps on nice May powder on the Ptarmigan glacier and on the way out. Still winter up high after a huge winter.

    Cairn Couloir, skied down a bit, then hiked back up an out.
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    Ptarmigan glacier yo-yo
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    Typical ice-crusted conditions here.
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    The "front country" or "front range". Empty, always.
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    Split Thumb and Lemon Glacier
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    First several turns into the couloir. Ugghhhh, would have been perfect snow, but too dangerous. At my age, I turn around and hike out. 15 years ago I probably would have just skied it.
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    Rainforest exit.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    2,833
    that is a nice line for right in town. Do you start from the Home Depot? looks like you have a crew down there. Yellow boots seem popular. Thanks for posting. flying out last Saturday I was reminded how much is around Juneau. Up here the game is loaded up west faces. Comes in warm leaves cold get on them. Windows are usually short. We are not as affected by out flow winds here. But having spent time in Valdez I understand the problem. Glad you and your family are feeling better and hope you get some more days this spring.
    off your knees Louie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,701
    Start from right by the hospital. Home Depot start is Lemon Creek which is a fucking death slog......Blackerby Ridge goes pretty quick. About 3.5hrs to summit.

    Outflow winds screw everything up from Taku Inlet to about Cairn Peak......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fresh Lake City
    Posts
    3,476
    great stuff as always

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