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Day 4 and 5

Day 4

I’m a little behind.  Haven’t been about to get a good internet connection and have been busy!

There ended up not being too much wind at thompson pass so we headed down to town to check out valdez a little more.  On the way down we checked out a few kiting spots Mike and Seth had kited last year…  This year was all rocks… a testament to the lack of snow they have had this year.  I have heard several times that all the brush and rocks that are sticking up above the snow are normally completly covered in an additional couple feet of snow.

We got in ate at The Harbor Cafe.   Awesome restaurant.  I ate some amazing fish tacos and Mike had some fish and chips, both of which was their special for the day.  I also heard that they are the best food in town!

After food we stocked up on some grocerys at a small expensive safeway.   Stuff was about 2x more expensive then up at Anchorage.  I suppose that is what you get when your the only show in town and your food delivarys probably come from 5 hours away or by boat.

Next we refilled the water and headed back up to tailgate alaska and ABA, after checking thompson pass for wind (It was about dead calm), and picked up Kristen.   Then headed to a few more miles away to Rendezvous.   Rendezvous is another heliski outfit that has all inclusive stays there… as well as has some good food.   We got some dessert and some drinks.  When we were there we were lucky enough to have a guy ring a big bell right by the bar… that meant the next round was on him!  I guess he had a good day skiing and was just spreading it around!

Day 5

Checked for wind.  No wind.  So we had the next thing to try out.   Skinning up to the Books with our kites.  Now this area on a good day can clearly been seen on the road that winds around up to thompson pass.   Actually it is the area behind me on the previous post.  As you can see, it is a large expanse of the snow with no trees and rolling terrain.    In other words… a kiting mecca!

We had to park quite aways down near the lowe river, and we started to skin.  The first problem we had was we decided to veer through the alders and pines to get to where we wanted to go.  As soon as we started getting in the woods.. the snow was much deeper and there were holes all over were you would sink in to up to your waist.   We weren’t the only ones with slow going in there.  We came across some moose tracks in the deep snow.  The moose’s foot looked like it postholed all the way down, not touching ground and finally stopped sinking when he got to his waist.  You could just see the way the moose must have slowly waded through the snow.

We finally found the path up.  It was a snowmobile path that a few guys had snowmachined on the previous day.  It was much easier going in some aspects… but now we had started to climb… and I could feel the weight of the extra kiting gear on my back.  After awhile, we broke through the trees, awhile after that we did some steeper climbing where I had to stop every 10 to 20 steps… then awhile after that I started to see the top… then realized it was a false summit and we still had more to go.  Finally made it to the top where it plateaud out.  We sat down, rested, ate some food, and drank a victory beer.  We made it.  But…  There was not wind at the top… and quickly the weather started to turn south, with some snow and fog.  We lost the great view of the valley we had… and we decided after only 15 minutes, we should start to head down again to get some better visibility.  The way down was much more fun.  We mostly stuck to the path we took up but also got to push around some good powder.  Skiing in powder is tiring too… but a much better tiring then skiing up.  In no time at all we were at the bottom.  From there we skinned another hour or so back to the car.  We were both completely exhausted…

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