Thursday, August 07, 2008


Date: Aug. 6
Mileage: 8.5
August mileage: 90.3
Temperature: 67

Another beautiful day, another post where I inundate my blog with photos from Juneau's ceiling. Today I headed up Mount Roberts. I woke up earlier but didn't rush out the door the same way I did yesterday, so I ended up with the same amount of time to burn - about four and a half hours. And like yesterday, I pushed my time limit to its very brink.

I made better choices than I did yesterday - Claritin, sunglasses, no shirt (Just kidding. I did have a shirt. It just got so soaked in sweat that I took it off for the solitude walk along the ridge, but I put it back on before I descended back to tourist zone.) Despite my better choices, I felt like I was still in recovery from Tuesday. I hike up mountains because the space makes me feel awake and alive, but the actual activity makes for a tough workout ... two to three hours constantly pushing between 70 and 90 percent of my MHR, followed by two hours of high-impact downhill pounding. My joints hate me now, but they'll thank me later. I'm still convinced that all the hiking I did in summer 2007 strengthened my knees and set me up for an injury-free winter.

But while I'm getting such a great workout, I stop often to observe the geography, visualize a future adventure and, of course, take photos. I'm not sure why I'm so intent on photographing mountains. It seems an injustice to box in all that jaw-dropping space, but I do it just the same. This photo was taken from the top of Gastineau Peak, looking down Gold Ridge toward the Juneau Ridge, where I walked yesterday. To the far left you can see Mount Juneau; the middle right is about the distance I made Tuesday before I had to turn around. Directly behind is Cairn Peak, on Blackerby Ridge - a future goal for a day when I have more than four and a half hours to burn.

I took this photo to show off Juneau's August offerings to my skiing friends. Unfortunately, in my effort to box in all the sweeping space, I cut off one really friendly, fun-looking run a thousand feet down into the bowl. I would ride it myself if I had my snowboard, which I'll likely never carry up to Gold Ridge (I don't see how one four-minute run could possibly be worth it, but, then again, I'm not a rabid snow-rider like some of my skier friends.)

Snow proved to be my undoing about 200 feet shy of Mount Roberts, when I could not find a way around this snow field, and I just wasn't willing to kick up it. The snow was soft enough, but one slip would have sent me on the fast (and deadly) track down to the bowl. So I didn't make that peak today. As it turned out, I was really pushing my schedule as it was. I didn't even have time to stop into the tram terminal for a Pepsi before I had to fast-track down through the rain forest and back to my bike.

All in all, another good day. I only GPS'ed the walking today. I think it shorted me a couple miles of distance (it doesn't seem to register forward movement too well at slow speed on steep pitches). But, anyway, today I have 8.46 miles, a total ascent of 4,019 feet and a maximum elevation of 3,664 feet. I feel cooked! Both by the trail, and by the sun. It's a wonderful feeling.


  1. Your photos often remind me of Caspar David Friedrich's painting, "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog" - great pictures!

  2. You really live in a beautiful place Jill.
    Great Photo's.

  3. Goodness gracious me! Two days in a can you stand it?

    We need rain here. It's been rather dry for the past several weeks and temps have hovered in the 80-90 degree range.

    As usual...great photos!

    Nigity - "Always keep a smile in your heart."

  4. What do you think about doing another video post on the nicer days you're having???

  5. photos can't ever seem to do nature justice. however, i lover seeing yours. makes me miss alaska (in a good way). :)

  6. thanks for the comment. We're both Leos, that explains a lot :)
    thank you again for letting me 'borrow' your pic. Back to the rain today...and realizing I will be doing a lot of exercizing in it.

  7. Have you ever posted to your blog and NOT made me jealous? I don't think so.

  8. jill - hello from Fairbanks. I have been checking out your blog for a while now. Love the pics and stories. Makes me miss my time in Juneau. Anyway...I finally added a link to your blog from mine...for the enjoyment of my friends.


  9. Jill, if you ever want a ridge hiking partner give me a call. I did Mt. Roberts a couple weeks ago and yes the snow was firm and steep to the top, but do-able (hiking poles and the right shoes helped). It was super foggy but I was rewarded with two big mtn goats who met me on the summit! My rt time was also just under 4-1/2 hrs at a casual pace so we would be evenly matched. I want to do the Gastineau-Roberts-Sheep loop, as well as a repeat of Mt. Juneau ridge (did that on 4th of July) plus some others but it's hard to find others to go with and Scott often works weekends at Foggy Mtn Shop so I end up going alone. We are in Salt Lake City at Outdoor Retailer Show now but will be back in a couple days. Tell Geoff we gave his resume to Montrail for their consideration. See you out on the ridges! Betsy Fischer - Foggy Mountain Shop


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