December 13, 2008

Chugach State Park - Rusty

Clear and cold with cold smoke. Last week's 9" storm developed a sparkley hoar frost.

Morning moon over Anchorage.

Chugach State Park's Wolverine Peak was a promising area, and the "Rusty" flank of Wolverine was today's playground. But, plumes off the summits portended the reduction of my front range fantasy of omnidirectional, super stable, perfect powder to a more pragmatic powder search. As usual, the Anchorage front range had irregular coverage above timber line. The gulleys hold snow well, but some have overhead avalanche hazards. The route up "Rusty" flank had a maximum angle of about 32 degrees, a little worrisome given the wind loading.

Hardly any wind below the ridge line, but it was brutal on the ridge.

After breaking trail all day in 5 deg F, running on empty and going slow ... what a welcome sight!

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