Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Yukon River Journey

There have been a series of serendipitous events in my life this summer, the most recent being an invitation to float down the Yukon River from Lake Laberge to Carmacks in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Having paddled almost the entire length of the Yukon River in the late 80’s, I was eager to reconnect with that early section of the river. The fact that I made this trip with Florian made it very special, as it was our first long father-son journey. Paddling in a sea kayak, we joined a group of Juneauites, who floated the river in rafts. Here, our friend Noah Jenkins drives his raft, powered by a small outboard motor, across Lake Laberge under the midnight sun on the first day of our trip. Noah’s wife Jennifer was actually the one that planted the seed a week before this trip actually happened. I will post more images this week of a journey that was memorable at many different levels. Stay tuned!

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Monday, March 21st, 2011
Skiing Mount Jumbo

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Mount Jumbo offers a pretty exhilarating ski from 3,500 feet back down to almost sea level. After we had almost touched the bright blue sky, we put on our skis on and headed back down. Above, Noah Jenkins carves a few telemark turns through pristine sparkling diamonds on the broad summit plateau before heading down a steep narrow chute on the north face of the mountain. In the distance is Young Bay and Mansfield Peninsula. To the right, Demian Schane downclimbs to the lip leading into the couloir to dig a snow pit, before Jessie Goodrich skied for the first three turns while still being roped up and on belay. Below, Pat Goodrich skis the lower portion of the bowl on the north face of Mount Jumbo. The mixture of near-champagne powder, gorgeous weather and great company made for a wonderful day in the mountains. We all agreed how lucky we are to have Douglas Island at our doorstep. The island offers some of the most accessible backcountry skiing around Juneau, unlike other less accessible areas, where helicopter support is almost unavoidable.

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Saturday, March 19th, 2011
Skiing To The Top Of Douglas Island

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I joined a small group of Juneau backcountry skiers who skinned to the top of Mount Jumbo yesterday, lured by clear sunny skies, and the promise of a challenging descent down its steepest gully. From left to right, Pat Goodrich, Noah Jenkins, Jessie Goodrich and Demian Schane climb up the broad southeast shoulder of Mount Jumbo, at 3,500 feet the highest peak on Douglas Island.

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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Skiing Cropley Chute – Eaglecrest's Crown Jewel

Cropley Chute is almost like the holy grail of backcountry skiing at Eaglecrest. Snow conditions need to be perfect, as a skier can easily trigger an avalanche when the steep slope is loaded. We hit it just right on the weekend, as the first sun rays were hitting the slope. Here, Noah Jenkins is airborne in the lower part of the chute. Below, Noah, an accomplished telemark skier, carves a nice turn. It definitely was a day and a descent to remember. I can’t imagine what it will be like skiing the chute in champagne powder. We will be back!
Noah took a little video with his cell phone – view the clip here: http://sharing.theflip.com/session/8d9c29b5e6062d7f85bf79f34087b6f6/video/50432281

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Monday, January 10th, 2011
Freedom Of The Hills

Franz Mueter, Noah Jenkins and I left the Eaglecrest parking lot at 6 AM yesterday morning for a pre-dawn climb of Mount Ben Stewart. The goal was to reach the top of the mountain before sunrise, and then ski down the steep Cropley chute. After a couple hours we were at what felt like the top of the world, surrounded by one some of the finest vistas Southeast Alaska has to offer. As we waited for sunrise, Noah enjoyed a few jumps, here with Stephens Passage and Seymour Channel in the background. In the picture below, Frans takes a break near the summit.

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