March 18, 2012

Coloradan's Colorado Creek

Matt's Magical Mystery Tour came to a close today at Colorado Mine, Alaska.  Matt, presently a Coloradan, formerly an Alaskan, made a ski trip back to his old home with perfect timing!  Sunshine, powder, big lines, backcountry, one storm with 23" fresh at Alyeska.  Today's tour to Colorado Mine was another pristine powder day.
We followed a game trail up Colorado Creek to the lower mine site and set a switch back trail up to the upper mine site on the ridge on beautiful untracked snow that had not seen a ski in quite some time.  Hoar frost crystals sparkled in the sun and seemed to vaporize into cold smoke under our skis. 
Map (click to expand) is courtesy of Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

It was cold in the shade, about 10F, but skies were mostly sunny with very little wind.  We saw two natural slides on north-facing slopes.  We couldn't clearly identify the starting zone, but the slides ran a several hundred vertical feet.  The snow in the gullies was exquisite.  There are hundreds of lines all around Turnagain, Twin Peaks, and Summit Lake, but Colorado Creek had no tracks nor sign of any ski traffic. 

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