November 21, 2008

Friendship Pass

Kruser made me do it. That is, become a general in Walter Mitty's army, an armchair quarterback, a blogspot skier. I really was there, really, admittedly a while ago. But right now, I'm rather laid up with a #@^*&! tweak of my right soleus, perhaps because my lightweight Dynafit bindings were semi-releasable. The left released, the right did not, leaving me with a bleeding soleus.

The soleus is a muscle deep within the calf, and I strained my right one real good - it's greenish blue and swollen. So here is a report from a while ago.
Well, it was not long ago that the intrepid duo found friendship, 1981 or there abouts. But, it was 2006 that we found Friendship Pass, a mile or so beyond the knuckle draggers' post-holing radius, high in the Willow Mining District, aka Hatcher Pass area. We skinned up south-facing Friendship Pass, fast friends that we are, and skied down the north shady side into cold smoke. Tried to kill ourselves, then skied home.
Knocked down, but not out (and not buried.)

Tweaked my soleus on Tincan Mountain at Turnagain Pass, Alaska of all places. Tincan must be the most pedestrian of all backcountry destinations near Anchorage. And, I injure myself there after making the pilgramage for 27 seasons. Must be getting old - definitely worthless and weak. Wallowing in my W&W unskiing fitness, Kruser reminded me of his Friendship Pass photo essay, mostly posted here. It was a remarkable trip.

Crown of the slab. Good thing it didn't run over the cliffs. It occurred north of Friendship and east of Dogsled Pass. Leary of the stability on the route we got there, we decided to return over a different pass, just west of Friendship Pass.


Backside of Friendship Pass is a fantastic place. To safely venture down the north side of the pass, exercise extreme caution because it is prone to avalanche.

Skiing the High Grade Mine adit.

Going home.

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