I made it back from a quick trip to Alaska where, once again, I had a great time. I love that state. Thanks to Joe Stock and all of the Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, the slideshow on skiing the AK Family was a success and raised a sizeable whack of cash for the avalanche center. Many people take their local avalanche centers for granted, but having worked at one for a season, their very existence is always tenuous. If they do too good a job and nobody gets hurt, they are one of the first to get chopped for state funding, so they often have to rely on outside funding (such as Friends groups), to supplement their annual expenses. Nobody is getting rich off of avalanche forecasting and it is a labor of love for almost everyone involved in it.
I had planned on spending a day skiing while I was up there, but… there’s no snow. Instead, I went for a hike up Flat Top with Joe and although it was lightly raining, the Big Boy and his Old Lady were sticking out.
It was fun to give a talk about skiing them the night before and then see them poking out from the skyline like old buddies the next day. Denali, Hunter and Sultana are three of my all time favorite skiing peaks and it was bittersweet to think that I don’t really have a compelling reason to return there any time soon. I’m sure I’ll think of something. ;)