Friday, December 2, 2011

11/25-27/11 Cresent Saddle MCA Trip

This was the first MCA trip I went on. Greg set it up, and it was a great early winter trip in Chugach National Forest. The seven of us skied from the Carter Lake Trailhead to the Crescent Saddle Cabin and did some ski-touring and backcountry skiing. We all pitched in for Thanksgiving 2 on the Friday after the holiday.

Carter Lake

 Crescent Lake

We were unsure about the ice conditions on Crescent lake. The alternative was to ski the Crescent Lake Trail, which would have taken much longer. We were glad to ski across the lake.

 Crescent Saddle Cabin

 Randy & Josh

 Mary Beth & Cathy

 Josh breaking trail.

There was still quite a bit of brush to deal with this early in the season. The easy route is up the creek bed after the willows are covered in snow. That hadn't happened yet, so we fought out way through trees and brush to access the upper saddle.

 Skinning up the alder runs with Crescent Lake in the distance.

John making some turns!

  Looking down to Kenai Lake.

Mary Beth and Randy followed our skin track to the upper saddle. Greg, Josh, John, and I met up with them after the ski run. We ended up following a flag line together on the way back. It was a better route, but we lost it halfway back.

 Mary Beth & John

Josh, Cathy, Randy, and Greg
Cow Parsnip
It was nice to get to this area before it was opened to motorized use. The growl of snowmachines echoing in the valley really alters the experience. It's nice to travel in such a beautifully quiet winter landscape.

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