Lost Lake Ski Tour

Day 1:

The day started with an exciting van ride down to Seward.  We arrived at the Lost Lake trail head in the early afternoon and proceeded to skin up an extremely icy snowmobile track to gain 1500 ft. It snowed pretty heavily making it hard to navigate but we made it to a ridge just overlooking Lost Lake and hunkered down.



Camp

Day 2:

Woke up to blue skies and some fresh powder. Ended up running laps down some mellow slopes trying to learn how to ski powder. I think the trick was lots of speed, which inherently equals fun. Everything was going extremely well until Jono tried to ski.....third turn of the day on the first run he fell and pulled something in his ankle. The guides took a look and decided to evacuate him via snowmobile. Being a weekend and fresh powder there were numerous snowmobilers in the area "Lost Lake Locals," so we didn't have a problem arranging a ride out for Jono. Mike, one of the guides, had almost ruined our repoire with the snowmobilers earlier in the day when one stopped to talk, I think the exact contents of the conversation was "Fuck you, this is America and I pay my taxes," and "damn skiers are more trouble than they are worth." Needless to say Jono got out and Nick skied out with some of his gear to the trail head. This day ended up dictating the rest of the trip, as we now had a shit ton of Jono's gear and food......an anchor really.

Logan gets all the great shots.

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Rescue Sled construction
Jake flagging down a snowmobile for Jono

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Day 3:

Most of the day was spent skiing short laps on convex rolls. The snow was extremely variable, going from skiable powder to hard crust. Needless to say I fell quite a bit trying to transition between the two types. Early in the afternoon Nick returned and informed us that Jono's injury was non-threatening, they didn't even give him any pain meds. We also got introduced to the beauty of the rutchblock test, this snow pack was an unofficial RB8 and only slid with a bonsai jump from 4 people.



epic fall

rutchblock


Day 4:

I led the day up a shoulder NW of Lost Lake following a steep gorge to the north. Logan took over halfway up and took us up to a high point at 3900ft. Dan took over at the summit and we skied down the backside with some nice fresh powder all the way down, at which point it became a complete whiteout. It was our first time having to deal with whiteout navigation, it was a very good learning experience and something that came in handy the rest of the trip. It was slow going but we made it back to camp all in one piece.





Day 5:

Woke up to a complete whiteout and decided on an objective close to camp. Logan navigated us up to the top of a small knob at 2533 ft on some sketcky slopes that felt like they were going to slide. Once we made it to the top the weather broke and we took the short window to ski down quick, after we dealt with Jake's broken binding.  We spent the afternoon learning out hasty pits and compression tests right before it started to puke snow like crazy.




Day 6:

Dan took the group out of camp following the same shoulder as a few days before and topping out at a high point with a great view of Kenai Lake to the north. We had a great ski run down to a survey point called Prim , at which point I took over right when the weather went to complete shit again. It took some route finding but we managed to get to the high point and skied down  the back side and down the shoulder in a complete whiteout. And of course once we hit Lost Lake it cleared right up all the way back to camp.

Day 7:

We all decided to take it easy and do some snow shelter building. Turned out to be a great blue bird day so we worked on our tans. Half the day was spent making a 4 person snow cave and the other half was spent experimenting with how to make an igloo. Overall it was a great day, and we got to dry everything out.


We didn't finish it









Day 8:

The final full day was spent skirting around the south side of Mt. Ascension over a gorge to and onto a high point. The weather the day and night before seemed like they were in our favor, how terribly wrong we would be. White out conditions from the get go all the way to the top. We ended up crossing what used to be a ice field, which has now receded significantly, a sad tendency these days. The last push to the summit was a bit rocky and icy so we ended up carrying the skis and kicking step up. It was by far the worst whiteout conditions we had had the entire trip coupled with the most unforgiving terrain. Needless to say the ski down was interesting. Then as what seems to always happen the weather cleared enough for us to make a quick ski down to the lake. The snow was probably the worst we had seen too. Got back to camp fairly early and passed out Jono's gear equally, and then slept soundly in our bombproof snow cave.

the summit, in a whiteout.





Day 9:

Long slog back to the trail head with roughly the same weight in our packs as we had on the way in, thanks Jono1500ft we had skied yet. Survival skiing at its best. Dodging rocks, tress, and other misc. objects. We ended up having to walk the last bit out do to lack of snow on the trail. Ben showed up about 5 mins. early and the rest is history.