October 25, 2009

Summit Glacier

A dusting of snow at the trailhead and friendly skies portended the conditions on high. Only 3000 ft vertical hiking and maybe we would find the fluff on Summit Glacier. As it turned out on this occasion, it was worth it.

Worth it, it was in 2009 as it was 25 years ago when we first ventured here. In 1984, we used 3-pin bindings, leather boots and skinny skis. We skinned without heel elevators and we turned by telemark. We even jogged back down the trail at the end of the day. Youth has left our bodies, and we've adopted the superior technologies of wider skis, alpine touring bindings, and plastic boots, but the essence remains the same. That essence of self-reliantly ascending to the glaciated slopes, and then descending the deep snow, floating and gliding and feeling free.

Crystal Lake in the background.

Summit's bergschrund, a great place to de-skin!

Looking over the 700-ft abyss from the Summit saddle to the Milk Glacier.

The light was bad.
The snow was good.
Experience was golden.

Jewel wasn't skiable 25-Oct-2009. The line down Summit was very nice and rock free. The far northern descent (blue line, ascent routes are red) is called Patrick's after the late Patrick Hallin, our dear friend. He was lost long ago in the cold waters of Cook Inlet.

1 comment:

eruk said...

i just realized who alaska jack is, after reading several trip reports last year.
I've been skiing powerline and around the edges on my rock skis since 10/30.
I would like to join you some time.
Eruk W