May 7, 2011

Solitary Pastoral

The Alyeska web cam showed severe clear bluebird conditions like a promotional picture.  Was it real?  It took a third look to be convinced that real sunshine was really shining on the Kenai Mountains.  Believing there was powder and sunshine on Pastoral, like a video played in fast forward I got food in my belly, food and water in my pack, and skis, etc. in my car.
Pastoral View from Summit Basin
Spencer Glacier
In spite of a so-so weather service forecast, an inkling the night before foretold the good weather, but after five calls and no takers, a solo trip seemed like the right thing.  Pastoral's northerly slope and almost 4800 ft summit elevation preserved boot top powder and exceptional May skiing.
Some Lines Remain on Lookers' Left with Uptrack

Temperature was 50F at the Sunburst parking lot at 6 p.m., and the corn snow was supportable except for a few odd spots on non-southerly aspects.  Southerly aspects looked rotten, I avoided them and didn't actually ski it down low.  The snow on the east side of the Taylor Creek saddle turned rotten by my return trip at about 5:30 p.m.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jack - shoot me your email at wfinley (at) and I'll send you a pic I took of you from Sunburst. We argued over how many people it was... I believe my comment was "no way - that's 2 people. 1 person couldn't do that many runs so fast!"

Jack said...

Not fast, just steady.