They return each evening, calling, clucking, watching. Hundreds of the big black birds fly to their roosts in the cottonwood groves on the south-facing slopes of the Anchorage Front Range. Skiing at dusk as the ravens return can be an eerie experience, and skiing with the ravens this evening was exceptional due to the 6 to 8" fresh, dry snow on the trails of Chugach State Park.
Neighbor Sam and yours truly tested the 2 feet of fresh snow on Peak 4068 near Hatcher Pass earlier in the day. But, the wind had worked the snow before we arrived. While it was calm when we skied, the whoomphing snowpack, dense snow, and flat light convinced us that a short lap on Peak 4068 was adequate. Returning to the excellent conditions on Chugach State Park ski trails was a salve to my skiing soul after the uninspiring lap at Hatcher earlier in the day.