Thursday, September 13, 2007

Juneau Ridge

Date: Sept. 13
Mileage: 8.0
September mileage: 302.6
Temperature upon departure: 49
Rainfall: 0"

I am so in love with these places, these ridges, these gravel-strewn mountaintops that stretch like fingers from my home to the icy unknown.

Today I hiked the Juneau Ridge. The climb from the Perseverance Trail was rougher than usual; I was on the verge of quitting before I even reached Mount Juneau. I spend so much time on bikes that it's easy for me to forget the importance of shoes. Today I learned that when embarking on a 12-mile hike with extreme elevation changes, choosing one's shoes based on the observation that they are probably the "driest" - only because they haven't been worn in months - isn't the best idea. I had horrible blisters after mile 1. But once I arrived at the ridge, I became so lost in the sweeping scenery that I forgot about my foot pain.

The summit of Mount Juneau is only the beginning.

One last look at the Mendenhall Valley.

Some amazing singletrack ... if only I could get my bike up here somehow.

Looking out toward Blackerby Ridge. Salmon Creek reservoir is a little sliver in the center.

The remnants of last winter meet autumn.

Observation Peak. If I was a faster walker or had an 12-hour+ day to work with, I could connect the Juneau Ridge and Blackerby Ridge via this 5,000-foot peak.

This lake was almost completely frozen the last time I was here, Aug. 8. It won't be long now before it's frozen again.

Descending into the Silverbow Basin, back to reality.


Do you ever think about places where, after you die, you might like to leave your ashes? I always imagined my friends and/or family carrying my earthly remains deep into Canyonlands, Utah, and tossing them into the desert wind. That way, I could spend eternity drifting with the sand and lingering against sandstone walls in the red shadows. But now, I don't know ...

I may just have them save a few spoonfuls for the tundra above Juneau.


  1. God...those photos are among some of your most gorgeous yet. Somehow we have to figure out an exchange plan. You come down for some decent weather winter riding, and I get out to meet you for some awesome views like that!!!

  2. Jill, Those pictures are remarkable. This was a better posting to read than the last one where you got lost. Sometime you should spend some more time in NY and maybe you could find some places here that are as impressive.

  3. Is that a farmers tan I see?
    and you live in Juneau?
    this dosent add up...

  4. Jill, your amazing photos and insightful blogging keeps me in touch with the Alaska that I miss, even though I'm stuck in a California college hundreds of miles away. Keep up the good work!!

  5. Geoff did a long run yesterday along the next ridge over and got some great photos. I didn't do that trip with him because he keeps a pace I could never dream of matching, but I do hope to hike that Roberts-to-Sheep ridge before the snow sets in. Pretty pictures here:

    ... I do live in Juneau, but there was this one time, in August, when I spent three days outside in the Yukon. That's not a farmer tan; that's the semi-scarred remnants of a serious sunburn.

  6. Simply amazing Photos Jill. Thanks so much for sharing with us. We appreciate it greatly. Keep them coming.

    You know, I'm in a bit of a quandry because I'm planning on purchasing an image CD from you but the problem is this; you keep taking awesome photos. Every Damn Day. If I buy a CD from you now, it won't have that amazing photograph that you're going to take next week!

    What to do, what to do...

    I guess I'll just wait.

    or, I'll ask for a CD...

    or, I'll wait..... or ...

    VW crash man, Dave

    PS>>> Geoff... excellant photos too! Wow. Hide those images if you don't want too many tourists coming for a visit ;-)

  7. INCREDIBLE. May have to quit this job prematurely and live off of long-lost friends so I can go wander these places NOW instead of waiting as planned...

    Five cruise ships below, and not a soul around but you on high!!!

    (Ouch, I don't remember mention of the sunburn!)

  8. The photo on the summit of Mount Juneau overlooking the city is amazing and these pictures are the reason why I have a link to your blog. Thanks for sharing them!

  9. WOW. Wow, wow, wow. I'd like to voice a more poetic, articulate appreciation for those beautiful photos, but the only word my brain can seem to form when looking at them right now is "WOW".

    And yes, I also think about places where I'd like to have my ashes tossed when I die. It started w/ a particular mountain here in Colorado, the first mountain I ever summited, but the list keeps getting more complicated as I visit more cool places. :-)

  10. Toss mine in W's carburetor. That oughta teach him.

  11. I love the tundra. It's one of the places I feel most at home in Alaska. Of course, that's assuming it's not wet tundra/muskeg, which is not nearly as much fun.

    The woods are beautiful too, but I've had too many experiences like your previous post to enjoy them quite as much.

    Hope you enjoyed your hikes -- the weather down there looks like you won't be doing any more in the near future.

  12. Thanks Jill.
    I think I get inspired by your pics and keep looking for ways to match them. Hard to do unless I climb high on the mountains in Colorado. Of course there are always the dog photos.
    Not likely that I'll be there in winter. I have a problem with frost bite. I used to winter ride and snow ride back in the late 80s. We used to drill screws into large mountain bike tires and use that to go down ski slopes and roads. Between that, working some with PMR, and trying to commute on the coldest ice days in Oregon, when no one else would ride, it left me with a bit of a cold weather problem. Not to worry. Still ride but keep the times limited in the really cold weather.
    Keep up the great stories.

  13. Oh god Jill -- the darlings of our ashes in Canyonlands ...

  14. Awesome photos. Either that very day or the day prior we were in Juneau on the Coral Princess. Everyone in town that we met wanted us to stick around because they figured we had brought the gorgeious weather with us.


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