April 27, 2013

Touring Summit Lake, Alaska

The Summit Lake country on Alaska's Route 1, Seward Highway, from Mile Post 47 to 50 has terrific terrain for alpine touring. We found challenging snow conditions on April 26, but it was a nice tour under mostly sunny skies, until we reached the ridge line above Colorado Mine.
The wind had totally stripped all of the snow from the ridge top.  It blustered, pounded, and convinced us to make a quick turnaround.
We typically ski the eastern wing of the Colorado Mine Bowl, but after viewing the prospects from the bottom of the bowl, we decided to try the opposite side of the bowl and ski the western wing.  All aspects up to the 4400-ft summit seemed to be affected by the wind and spring temperatures, but we found some enjoyable snow just below the ridge top. Though the snow up high wasn't worthy of multiple laps, touring with Doc is always fun.
Colorado Mine Trail through the Hemlock Forest
Semi-Supportable Crust

No comments: