February 6, 2009

Hiland South Fork from Gordon Lyon

From downtown, Arctic Valley looked like a white out. Even with the looming whiteout, the fresh snow this morning held a promise of some nice turns. A short day at the office and off to the mountain!

The place was deserted save Markman & Cameron who were maintaining the long chair lift Arctic Valley; moving the chairs along the cable a few inches to prevent wire fatigue and embrittlement.

Expecting low visibility, it was a pleasant surprise when the clouds and fog just disappeared as I changed into my AT boots. After three laps on the front side, I noticed some nice snow on the northeast face of Gordon Lyon - the backside that flows down to the South Fork of Eagle River.

It was a nice fall line toward Hiland Road on the South Fork. There was 4" of low density snow on a wind packed base. The base varied from soft to breakable to super hard and icy, but the fresh on top made it worthwhile and worthy of 5 laps (only one on the backside).

Upper reaches of Gordon Lyon's northeast aspect

Lower half of back side line.

Last line back to the car on the front side.

No comments: