Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Crust Cruising Kodiak
One of my favorite times of year - Spring skiing on Kodiak is here! And this year the crust cruising in skate skiis is fantastic. We have a good snowpack (around 6 feet deep at the headwaters of the Buskin) and a go anywhere crust on top and just enough soft snow to give you some control on the downhills. All the alders are buried and you can go anywhere.
Today I skiied across Buskin Lake (about an inch of snow stuck to the ice - perfect), and went up the valley and up the side of a gorge. I made it to the top of the pass (750 feet) over to Sheratin Bay. That is a long way, and I did not dare go further because I was worried about time. I need not have worried - it was mostly downhill going home and I flew. It only took me 35 minutes to get back to the car. Tomorrow I'll scout the route a little further - and before you know it I'll be skiing to Sheratin Bay!
Photos: Top view is looking back towards Barometer with the Upper Buskin river gorge on the left (we often ski on classic skiis up the river and into this gorge). Middle view is looking back at my tracks as I near the top of the pass with Pyramid in the background. Bottom is the view towards the top of the pass with Elbow mountain in the distance. This is where snowmobiles cross over to behind Bell's Flats from the Ski Chalet. Patrick