January 3, 2015

Bringing in 2015 Touring the Talkeetnas

Touring the Talkeetnas around Hatcher Pass in the winter sunshine combines ghost town-like historical interest, magnificent vistas, and exquisite skiing. Independence Mine is mostly a ghost town, save the single building still maintained for occupancy, and above Independence is Gold Cord, one of my favorite places.
Approaching Gold Cord

Friendship Pass overlooks Gold Cord, Independence and the Hatcher Pass Lodge.
Upper Reaches of Gold Cord Bowl
Skiing to Friendship Pass involves travelling in avalanche terrain. See the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center for important information.
Approaching Friendship Pass
Friendship Pass vistas of Denali and the Alaska Range stoke the spirit. 
Friendship Pass, Alaska - Looking North

Her nickname is Sunshine.

Sunshine Tracks
Exposed ridges had some small areas of unsupportable crust. But it was easy to avoid, and snow quality was mostly excellent. 

Hillary at High Grade
For the first time in many trips to High Grade, we found people in the cabin built by Gerrit 'Henie' Snider in 1938. A nice lady at the cabin explained that 6 families descended from her grandma share the place now.

We had an adventure skiing home in alpenglow, we found exquisite powder for our last line. Daylight was short, but our experience was full.