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. 


chugach ress said...

i saw your work up there before i left. nicely done. after i passed you i twice considered turning around and heading back there due to the incredibly nice snow and aspect with sun. you hit it prime with that alpenglow.

Renée Burton said...

Your photos and blog are fabulous. I found them searching for some information about a hike my husband and I took this week from the State Park. We thought that we had hiked up Friendship Pass, but the directions were "hike to the end of the road and then go up", and without a map.. we weren't sure. Read through your blog entries, and it seemed we went up the slightly shorter pass (4600') just to the north of Friendship Pass... but I can't find any name for that.. perhaps it has none. Do you know?

The winter climbing/ski photos of your pinnacle loop a few years ago were particularly amazing. that was a non-trivial hike and i can't imagine doing it in winter.

Alaska Jack said...

Renee, I'm not aware of a name for that pass. Fred Trimble is the best place name expert I know for the Hatcher area. He shared a nice map here: http://jackalaska.blogspot.cl/2011/12/freds-place.html

Renée Burton said...

Thanks. Appreciate the reference.. next time we're in Alaska, we'll have to try the original plan. :)