GOOD 'OL ALASKA

The great White North is a special place to me, i've spent lots of time up there. From the climbing in the Central Alaskan range to canoeing in the northwest territories. I love every minute of it. So coming back is always the best. Especially since I brought Anna Pfaff with me this time. 

And so I returned into the the beautiful Hayes Range . . . . 

Total BADASS and CEO of Tok Air Service, Zak Keenbel flew us safely to our glacier.   

Total BADASS and CEO of Tok Air Service, Zak Keenbel flew us safely to our glacier.   

if you need an awesome piolet for remote alaska contact Zak at www.flytokair.com , or get a hold of me and i can put you in touch. 

We landed in great weather, but we knew that it was just a tiny window. The forecast predicted more snow for days, but we were optamistic and stoke was high. So we poured over maps and pictures and pondered our first plan of attatck 

skiing up towards our soon to be ABC (Advanced base camp)

skiing up towards our soon to be ABC (Advanced base camp)

Its funny how as humans we try to prepare for everything. "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Graham Bell

But in the Mountians that Rule need not Apply. We had trained hard, we had all the beta we could ever need,  And With the generous help of our awesome sponsors, we had all the most badass gear on the market. WE WERE READY!  And sometimes life just happens, sometimes snow just happens.......

 

we received accumulation on every day of our trip, thus making the snow pack very unstable. There was so many avalanches ripping at all hours. very un- nerving. so we made a few attempts on secondary objectives with good aspects while weather permitting.  

i'm really small but you can see me starting up the south facing headwall.

i'm really small but you can see me starting up the south facing headwall.

Crampons on choss on some just less than vertical climbing. i was tossing flakes off the size of my torso! we bailed due to rock quality. the way the rock formed there was bands of decent rock then kitty litter. not suitable for anchors beyond the rock pictured above. PLUS hours after we bailed a huge storm came in. we were very happy we weren't stuck on the wall.  Not the dreamy objective we wanted it to be. a good reason its unclimbed. go figure! so we waited and waited with our eyes still on the prize, for our original objective.  

Crampons on choss on some just less than vertical climbing. i was tossing flakes off the size of my torso!

we bailed due to rock quality. the way the rock formed there was bands of decent rock then kitty litter. not suitable for anchors beyond the rock pictured above. PLUS hours after we bailed a huge storm came in. we were very happy we weren't stuck on the wall.

 Not the dreamy objective we wanted it to be. a good reason its unclimbed. go figure! so we waited and waited with our eyes still on the prize, for our original objective.

 

anna getting ready for more snowy ski touring to help kill time . south ridge of hayes in the backround.

anna getting ready for more snowy ski touring to help kill time . south ridge of hayes in the backround.

we spent the next 10 days debating to launch or not. it snowed and snowed and the snow was continually unstable . There was a big slope on top that threatened 2/3 of our route.

After we thought the mountain had shed quite a bit during a two day lul of mild precip we decided to give it another go. 

But before we could even get over the sugary bergschrund an avalanche cut loose less than 200 feet to our left. we took that as a sign that the snow HAD NOT settled and we should get out of dodge. 

seconds after this photo was taken the avalanche slid.

seconds after this photo was taken the avalanche slid.

It became evident with yet another snowfall after this attempt that we weren't going to be climbing in days to come and we better start getting packed. our new concern was if we would have weather stable enough for our pilot to come get us.  after 3 days we had a window, he scooped us up and the clouds filled the sky almost moments after we landed safely at the black rapids lodge.

pretty sure we had more fun than any two people stuck in a tent ever. Its all about the people your with. LOVE this woman!

pretty sure we had more fun than any two people stuck in a tent ever. Its all about the people your with. LOVE this woman!

All in all it was a blast. A fight between wanting to climb and making good decisions. Always thankful to be safe after any trip to the mountians, and scheming our return!