TelePete is the authority on Summit Lake, AK (ski) place names, so we'll go with his Hale Bopp for this one. Hale Bopp is the peak at the far end of Raven Ridge.
An early evening exit on corn was a bittersweet departure from Raven's Ridge as we bade farewell to the powder season.
We planned to ski up Byron Glacier, but it had been quite active with spring slides, so we opted for Summit Lake with Hale Bopp, the peak not the comet, our destination. Many of TelePete's place names appear on the Chugach National Forest avalanche advisory map, Hale Bopp doesn't, yet.
Snowpack at the lake provided great support during our noon ascent, but collapsed in a few places during our 8 p.m. descent. We booted a short, steep section with hard snow to mount the ridge, and we were forced to walk part of the wind-blown/melted-out ridge line to Hale Bopp bowl.
Hale Bopp bowl is a 3 mile trudge from Lower Summit Lake. In its shadow, we found a very hard icy base coated with 3 inches of stale snow. Hale Bopp's sunny side had exceptional corn with a micro-thin, transparent veneer of shimmering ice that shattered and slide down the slope on contact. The veneer broke into tiny particles and slid on the unbroken surface with a tinkling as it trickled down the slope.
Snowpack at the lake provided great support during our noon ascent, but collapsed in a few places during our 8 p.m. descent.
May 8, 2010
May 2, 2010
We celebrated May Day 2010 with powder on Pastoral Peak. We skinned from the Sunburst parking area at Turnagain up to Taylor Creek Pass, and across the Pastoral Glacier where we found cold snow in the shade of the rime-topped peak.
DP and yours truly planned a search for powder at Summit Lake, but diverted to Turnagain Pass after assessing Summit's cloudy skies.
Taylor Creek Pass
Pastoral Glacier was a hot traverse. Perfectly calm air with the sunshine reflecting off the snow made it feel like an oven.