Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ughhh... no ice in South Central

Kim and I headed out to the beer climbs again this morning. We left town at 8:15 am in order to get there when the sun came up. Because of the consistently cold temperatures this week (in the 20s) we were sure we were going to find some ice fat enough to climb.

We sat in the car at the trailhead and watched the frozen pads of ice float down the Knik river, hesitant to get out of the car and into the arctic weather. It was about 20 degrees when we left my house in the morning. We laughed about how wimpy we have become to the cold, because we haven't been on the ice in 2 months. Finally I mustered up the courage to step out into the cold, looking forward to the crisp air on my face and hands as I shoveled on my mountaineering boots. But, to my surprise, I stepped out to a warm breeze and overwhelming sense of disappointment in how this winter is starting out.

It was way too warm down there at the base of Pioneer peak for the ice to be in. But we hiked up anyway to see how the climbs were coming along. We found out they are not coming along. They are in the exact same state as they were two months ago when we were there. We both let out a big sigh and then hiked back down. We decided not to get too upset about it, but it's hard. We had a plan for this winter and things are just not going as planned. We talked about how nice it would be if global warming could speed up a bit and kick us right into an ice age. That would be sweet. Well, we can only dream.

I guess we'll just have to ski. Here's some pictures from Brian and my hike/ski in Eagle River yesterday. We met a pretty cool guy from Eagle River who showed us where the powder usually is and gave us the inside scoop on where to avoid because of avalanche danger. He told us a story about how he kicked up a pretty large avalanche last year on the same slopes, while snowboarding with his dog. He was able to ride out of the slide and into a rocky area, but his dog was not as lucky. The dog, "Serac" had been behind him. After the slide came to a stop he couldn't find him. A few minutes later he started to cry, when out of the pile of avalanche debris he saw two tiny paws sticking up out of the snow. They were digging. Serac clawed his way out after being buried by the avalanche.


Geoff said...

very weird weather so far this winter. down here in juneau we have only had 2 inches of snow on the season (last year at this time we were over 70") but today it was around 10 degrees the whole day and it's supposed to be colder tomorrow... and the winds have been 30+ mph for about 24 hours now. it's weird to go out on trails that have no snow at all but have the temperature be so cold, it makes it seem warmer than it really is until you realize that your eyelashes are almost frozen shut and that your fingers can't handle even 5 seconds without gloves on them.

Julie said...

The cold and winds have caught up to us in Anchorage today.

Tonight the forecast is for "Lows 10 below to 5 above". I have an hour run scheduled for tonight. This will definitely be the coldest temperatures I have ever run in! Should be interesting!