I liked Nuttynu's photos taken in Turnagain Pass, on a bright, sunny day. My friends and I regularly "play" on the other side of the pass, in the non-motorized area. Here are a few photos from an interesting ADVenture we had last weekend. We started at the Lower Eddies parking lot and skied up to and along the base of Eddies and across the Ingram Creek drainage. From there we ascended the northern slope of the impressive Tincan Peak.
This is Ulla from Denmark, on a splitboard, with the Ingram Creek drainage in the background. Pretty much the entire ridgeline had slid, very recently, like within the past 24 hours. We all had avalanche gear and our beacons were turned on.
The two men I was skiing with decided we would continue heading uphill, to the distant, prominent ridgeline of Tincan Peak. They wanted to practice making turns. The higher we got, the more apprehensive I became as we had our long "touring" skis on, which aren't that easy to make turns with and the snow conditions were NOT ideal. There was a breakable crust on top of sugary stuff which makes going downhill somewhat tricky. But, what the heck, check out all the untracked snow! My friends kept encouraging me to go higher and higher. Since I had the car keys, this must have meant they had confidence in my ability to ski out of there.
By time we stopped for lunch, I was once again questioning my sanity.
How many other people ski up here on long, skinny touring skis? Probably very few. I looked back where we started from, and it was way off in the distance. I could have managed to ski down the slope in front of me with only a few falls. But we had decided to go the other direction and ski out to a different trailhead to avoid some nasty stretches of icy trail that twisted and turned through the trees. (Turnagain Arm is in the background.)
After lunch my friends continued skiing up to the top of this slope, located on the prominent Tincan ridgeline. The slope is steeper than it appears.
I followed them part-way up, to where the little tree tops are poking out of the deep snow about half-way up. Then I turned around and scouted out a route that I felt I could safely descend on my long skis. Oh my... Having Randonee skis would have made thiings much easier.... My friends had fun making turns and multiple face plants.
We did some side-hill traversing of some steep slopes on the way out and at one really steep, bumpy section we all took our skis off and walked down. The photo below shows the southern Tincan ridgeline. We were fairly high up on the other side, relative to where NORMAL folks with long, skinny backcountry touring skis usually stay - down lower in the valleys! My friends skied up to an area close to the big cornices almost 1/3 of the way up.
This was one of those long, challenging days when I was very happy to finally make it back to the cars. Tomorrow we're heading to Hatcher Pass, but I'm NOT taking my touring skis to the top of any ridgelines.