Arctic to Indian Traverse [Other]
- 9:00 AM, Sun Mar 26, 2017
Our crew of 5 XC skiers completed the route by avoiding JBER lands via Hunter Pass from the Symphony Lakes Trailhead in Eagle River. Getting up and over the pass was fast. You'd either want full skins on your XC skis, or just boot pack up the trail. The snow was very wind scoured and hard packed approaching the pass. Getting down from Hunter Pass was sporty with a breakable crust, and after side sloping for awhile into the Ship Creek Valley, the eventual descent through the shrubbery down to the creek had some "extreme cross country skiing" moments. Once in the valley bottom, the trail was like a superhighway and all of the snow bridges were still firm and supportable. The ski descent from Indian Pass was less challenging then the descent from Hunter Pass as it was more like a groomer and you could bust out a big snowplow to check your speed. It took our crew 9.5 hrs to make the ~20 mile journey from beginning to end. This report is immediately stale because the new snow, and forecast for a rise in temperatures, will alter conditions. We saw one set of older bear tracks coming down the wind-loaded, west-facing slope after Hunter Pass, but before we dropped into the Ship Creek drainage.
Report by TC.