Saturday, February 16, 2013

Moon over the Headwall, only available in a blue sky!

This morning began colder than we have felt in a few weeks, it was 15° at the T in Girdwood. Water in the streets had frozen, slush under the fresh snow solidified, and water had stopped dripping off the eaves. Soft fresh snow which had coated walking and driving surfaces was misleading. Though the snow was fresh, the surface which the snow coated was craggy. As a result, walking must be done with caution. Because the slush under the snow froze up in rugged, uneven chunks of ice, soft snow gives way to uneven ground to walk over. 

Most of us in Glacier Valley are glad for the colder air and snow that is not melting, therefore we adapt. I saw a resident on cross-country skis working her way over the walking path heading toward Moose Meadows. Keeping your skis on, no matter what kind, was not an option in the past few weeks. For a brief moment, really for a few hours, Girdwood was under the influence of high pressure. From the looks of the weather surface map, we were on the edge of that high. The photo above captured the glory of the blue sky. Notice the wind kicking up dust on the left of the Headwall. 

Today was the first day this season Alyeska opened Max’s Traverse. Here is a great photo of a line of trekkers heading over to take advantage of the high fresh face. The red arrow points to a dotted line of skiers which from my vantage point always look like ants! Marching marching marching in a neat row, dutifully following each other to the feeding prize! I am sure they all had fun and we at the base were glad to see the new open space. 

Slowly low pressure has moved  back over to influence western Prince William Sound. The forecast for this evening and Sunday is more snow.  Accompanying that snow will be temperatures that stay below freezing! Yea! No wet or sloshy snow this weekend. What a nice treat for a long holiday weekend.  Below is the view toward Turnagain Arm of the sun being shrouded in the haze of moisture signaling the edge of the weather system.

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