Sunday, February 5, 2012

02/03-05/12 The powder hut is sweet! ...but don't tell anyone.

I first heard about this cabin two weeks ago from a co-worker. I'm familiar with most of the walk-in cabins in South-central Alaska, so why hadn't I heard of this one? Well this one isn't advertised by CPG. It's not even mentioned on their website. You just have to call them to book it. I bet everyone in Girdwood knows about it though. The cabin is on a ridge in the Chugach Powder Guides snowcat skiing area. There's lots of great intermediate backcountry terrain to ski between Sunnyside and Notch Mountain, and the up-track is a groomed cat trail. You can even talk to your ski partners on the skin up!

The three of us headed out from the Tram parking lot at 4pm. It had snowed over a foot since the cats left in the morning! On their way down they packed it down again. It got dark half way up, but the cat trail was easy to follow. The heavy sleds were a bit much to drag up the steeper pitches ;I'll bring a backpack next time. It took 3 hours to cover 4.5 miles and 1500 feet elevation gain. Our lighter-packing friends made it in two hours the following day.

The riding was great the next day. It was another meter powder day (albeit breezy)! We ended up skiing two runs before meeting up with our friends at the cabin. Then we all skied two runs together. The snowcats were reestablishing trails lost during the heavy snow, and wind heavily affected the snow up-valley, so we stayed near the glades. We tried partying afterwards, but could only make it to 11.  I guess we have our priorities.

The next morning the winds really picked up and visibility dropped. We abandoned the thought of a couple runs before heading out. As we headed down-valley snow mixed with rain. It only took an hour to get out, and I even caught the Super Bowl.

 Sam & Connor scoping the lines to Winner Creek


 Photo courtesy of Kakiko Ramos-Leon.

 Barber killing it!

Ringo, the coolest dog ever.

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