Eagle in August

PatrickOSeptember 1, 2011

This last week I was fortunate enough to join APU and Sun Valley for a week of skiing on APU’s Eagle Glacier outside Girdwood, Alaska. For anyone from the east skiing in the summer is an unusual, almost foreign prospect. The season in Vermont is short, and as a skier you spend more time cross training for your sport than actually participating in it.  While I was dubious about returning to Alaska after my three previous experiences (all involving       -15 F temperatures and inadequate handwear) I was lured all the way here by some incredible pictures of glacier skiing from the USST woman’s camp several weeks prior (http://www.craftsbury.com/blogs/grp/?p=1817).

A typical day on Eagle Glacier...

A typical day on the Eagle Glacier…

Although the weather for this camp wasn’t as nice as for the woman’s camp, the overcast sky and mix of fresh snow actually made for harder faster conditions which was a nice reprieve from mushy corn snow and disapearing ski pole baskets that we experienced the first day.


Thursday afternoon classic ski on hardwax

Another addition to the camp was riding the new Pisten-Bully to and from training in the morning. A summers worth of melt coupled with a strong earthquake weeks prior had opened several large crevasses  between the main building and the ski loop. Riding the back of the PB up the big hill to the training center for a waiting meal at the end the long day of skiing was another huge plus!

Falling in one of these suckers would ruin your day!

Falling in one of these guys would ruin your ski!

Some of the ladies enjoying the sun at the end of ski

Some of the ladies enjoying the sun at the end of a ski


Powder skiing in August? Can't complain about that!

By the end of the week the clouds had fully blown out and we were treated to some pretty spectacular views of Girdwood, Alyeska resort, and the surrounding mountains and snow fields

The training center looking out at the Eagle glacier off to the right

The training center with Eagle Glacier off to the right


And the town of Gridwood, Alyeska resort and the Turnagin Arm several thousand feet down to the left…


Hiking down to the edge of the glacier on Sunday morning

Down the scree field

Down the scree field


Out the ridge towards Girdwood


Gelso suiting up for the ride down


And down the moss they go!


Through the Alaskan Bush


And back to the van and civilization after 5000+ feet of descending over a few miles!