Center Ridge to Placer

(I don't know how to change the date at the top from the publish date. We actually did this in mid-May, and I'm just catching up with updates.)

I first heard of this as a hiking traverse. Then, I heard it was also a ski traverse. With both trip reports saying something to the effect of "worst bushwack ever," convincing folks that it would be fun was the first challenge. Luckily, Alaska is full of people who love a good alder thrashing.

Jonathan and Rick, with the early morning "meh, we don't need to bother taking our skis off." Photo by K. Strong. 

Jonathan and Rick, with the early morning "meh, we don't need to bother taking our skis off." Photo by K. Strong. 

Photo by K. Strong.

The forecast called for rain. Somehow, we stayed in a pocket of sunshine for almost the entire ski. Photo by K. Strong. 

Nearing the pass. I wanted to get up and over this before things got too soft, which we did. The snow on the other side was definitely softer than I would have liked...we probably would have needed to bump our start time up by a few hours to the "why bother to sleep" kinda time to have avoided that this late in the season. Photo by K. Strong. 

Still all smiles. Photo by K. Strong. 

Photo by K. Strong. 

View from the pass. Photo by K. Strong. 

Pretty neat to see the glacier and lake from this angle when the lake was melting. There was one iceberg that just glowed blue. Photo by K. Strong. 

Water break and snack break before starting the thrash down. Photo by K. Strong. 

And, the bushwack down turned out to be pretty casual. Looking back up from the river, we could tell we definitely got lucky, avoiding the numerous cliffs and other heinous looking sections. Photo by K. Strong.

I forgot to practice tying my skis to my boat at home, and ended up with poor placement of the bindings, such that I'd regularly bash my knuckles on the toe pieces. Photo by K. Strong.

Having the skis set a bit lower like this seemed to work better. At least, I whined far more loudly and often than Jonathan. Photo by K. Strong. 

Our line, roughly. At my urging, we had dropped road bikes at the take-out to do a bike shuttle back to the car. But after a few hours of floating in the rain w/ no drysuit, I was a shivering mess. Girdwood friends came to the rescue with a big puffy jacket and a ride back to the car. 

Our line, roughly. At my urging, we had dropped road bikes at the take-out to do a bike shuttle back to the car. But after a few hours of floating in the rain w/ no drysuit, I was a shivering mess. Girdwood friends came to the rescue with a big puffy jacket and a ride back to the car.