August 31, 2008

Winner Creek

Dr. Snow, Photographette K, and yours truly biked 'n hiked to Winner Creek headwaters on a rare day - the radiant orb was out as were a hundred folk on the Ted Stevens Boardwalk-to-Nowhere. But, Nowhere is a wonderful place.

Perhaps Photographette K will post some images for our enjoyment, but until then we'll have to settle for a map because yours truly forgot his camera.

We biked within a couple of miles of the pass overlooking the 20 Mile drainage, then hiked to just beyond the pass. Beholding the view of 20 Mile rimmed with glaciers and verdant tundra makes the trip worthwhile, plus the biking is downright fun.

We reversed course and returned to Alyeska and tried the new Blueberry Pancake Trail - a great trail for mountain biking thrill-seekers!

Blueberry Pancake has banked corners, elevated boardwalk and erosion-resistant features that make for a terrific ride. Likewise, the Boardwalk-to-Nowhere attributed to our senator-for-life-and senator-under-federal-indictment is a longer yet terrific ride.

It would be an interesting factoid, the length of Winner Creek Trail boardwalked - it's a lot. Both Blueberry Pancake & Winner Creek are highly recommended for experienced pedalers. Winner Creek is almost 8 Miles one-way to the pass and about 2000 feet vertical. Winner Creek Trail starts in a Hemlock forest near the Alyeska Tram. The boardwalk has many steps, a few double and triple the normal height. The trail has some rocky sections, and a few interesting creek crossings. Water volume in the creeks varies considerably; the day we did the trail, there was considerable exposure crossing them, but we survived without incident.

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