Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Winter Chaos in Alaska

Being my first winter in Alaska I am experiencing a myriad of events that I have either been unfortunate or fortunate to not have had to deal with previously in life. One major item would be the extreme terrain Alaska is made of, which includes plenty of active volcanoes. Many of you may be familiar with the activity that has been reported concerning the recent eruptions from Mt. Redoubt here in Alaska, but it sure is one thing to learn about it from the news and quite another to experience the effects first hand. One aspect of my life that has been majorly impacted by this volcano is my work. I travel each week to Ketchikan Alaska, which I can't tell yet if the travel is a good or bad thing for myself and my family yet, but when the Anchorage airport completely shuts down due to the volcanic ash thousands of feet in the air, as well as blanketing the towns, cities and mountains it does make my job impossible to accomplish. The link above is to Anchorage Daily News and they usually have good info on the latest eruptions, because the mountain is not just a blow once and done kind of volcano.

Once I do make it to Ketchikan it works our fairly well. The town is located in the southern most part of Alaska, towards the Vancouver British Columbia area. The weather is like what you would expect from the Seattle area, but when the sun shines it is quite an incredible place. I have ventured out a little while in the area, and plan on hitting a few hikes and trails before I leave or maybe even a fishing charter for some halibut.

This weekend while I was home I was able to get out snowboarding again. It was not quite as epic as the trip before, but good to get out anyway. I went again with my buddy Ryan and we got a little assitance from his brother-in-law and sled, so I did not have to hike the entire way up. There was a nasty fog that kept rolling in and out of the bowl and mountains we were on, so we would try to time our runs to match the sun. When the mists would clear we tried to ride hard and make use of being able to see the mountain, but it would quickly tighten back in and we would be left trying to ride almost blind.

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