Alaska: Part 1 May 13 2013

May 13th Juneau...Part of the Alaska story: Craig crossing the border into BC I met up with friends in Juneau a few weeks ago now. Our plans for the Juneau Ice Fields were cut short by poor weather. Juneau outskirts had just received 1-2 feet of snow and more snow/rain was in the forecast for the whole week. Our first quick outing at the closed Eagle Crest resort found DEEP snow... and everything was sluffing which made for a fun ride. The helicopters & planes need line of sight to fly and land. With the cloud cover so low our prospects of catching a heli-ride onto the glacier seemed un-likely. Instead we loaded up the Toyota  got on the ferry heading North to Skagway in search of better weather on White Pass (the US/Canadian border) White Pass locator map Not to be confused with White Pass Ski area in Washington. Phil has been pushing to go check out White Pass for the last few years. He lived in Skagway years ago before the road was built... and spoke very highly of the potential up there. And he was right!! The pass is central within the Chilkoot mountain range and puts you up to 3000' (with with surrounding mountains generally between 5000-6500ft at their summits). The mountains are partially glaciated (at least for a few more years) and are very plausable for all ranges of ski & mountaineering experience levels. too many opportunities We spent our first week on the pass with a mix of skiing, & upskiing but were still plagued by poor visibility and above average AVY conditions. One of my favorite UpSki spots is/was this highly featured gulley that channels the wind really well, and you could climb the steep rocky sidewalls, & hop off the cliffs.... totally a different mindset than any other jumping I've done.  The gulley actually starts more than mile below what the following picture shows.  Tons of terrain surrounding it... but on a poor visablity day, you can stay in the gulley and not get lost.  Plus this is all a road side attraction... no skins required. The Gulley The prettiest ascent was on Feather Peak (or Mountain??)  Winds were super light... but it was manageable with a little skinning to line up with the wind. Feather Pk North sticking to the features in a whiteout: sticking to the features in a whiteoutMore pics, video, and stories to come. Editing required first! Also...   Indy Pass opening weekend May 25th-26th We'll be there, will you??