Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hatcher Pass

Today my roommate and I tried out our new avalanche knowledge by doing some back country skiing. Maybe I should start with last night:
We (including my friend James) attended a free REI sponsored avalanche safety class last night. Afterwards we went out for a drink to decide how to best apply our new avalanche avoidance expertise.
One of the things they pointed out is that you need a minimum of three things in avalanche country: a transponder, a shovel and a pole to poke the victim with. Neither of us has any of these things unless you count a ski pole that isn't as long as the fancy pole we should carry.
So we decided to go to Hatcher Pass today (one of the examples from last night where there are avalanches) and try some back country skiing. There were plenty of folks out on this sunny Saturday and we felt pretty certain that if none of them had caused any avalanches, neither would we.
Oh how wrong we were!
Sorry, I'm kidding.
We had a lot of fun with him taking the lead with his fancy back country skis, and me following with my cheap non-back country skis:
We pretty much didn't go anywhere that hadn't been traveled before, but it worked much better with him packing down the snow with his wider skis.
As I was descending one hill an unleashed dog chose to run up it, at me. Luckily she veered off because I don't think she would have liked being hit by the big sack of meat descending on those sticks right into her snout!
The area is right next to the Independence Gold mine. Here we are looking from one of the buildings down onto some others:
Here is a shot with Palmer and my car in the distance:

I managed to not fall on any of the downhills (the ungroomed ones were sketchy!). And I was enjoying the groomed downhills very much until the very end when I decided I'd do the fancy downhill ski stop where you slide on both skis sideways, tips pointing in the same direction. I used to have this difficult maneuver down back-in-the-day. Not any more. My only fall of the day came as I got back to the car. Only my pride was hurt. No one else seemed to care.

1 comment:

rigtenzin said...

I visited that mine. It was interesting and sad.