I was meeting with friends for dinner in the evening but couldn't resist a quick jaunt up Lazy Mountain on the way to their house in Butte. Lazy Mountain is a stairmaster of a hike, gaining 3,200 feet in about two miles. The trail is generally packed by other hikers, but the top 3/4 mile is always wind-drifted and results in lots of postholing without snowshoes, which I can't wear because the lower trail is too slick (I wore microspikes. With these icy conditions I'd even prefer crampons.) So it's a grunt, but I know I can do the out-and-back to the 3,700-foot peak in two hours on a strong day, which I was having. It snowed on and off all day and the mountain was enveloped in fog, but I caught about a ten-minute window when the clouds cleared out enough to reveal sunshine. It was a great hike — colder than it looks from the photo, but I was working so hard on the climb I couldn't wear more layers despite the icy breeze.
In about two hours I'm leaving Palmer to head north for a three-day bike tour on the Denali Highway. I'm traveling with the same three women who I toured the Dawson Trail with last winter, so I'm excited. Girls, snow bikes, and backcountry cabin/lodge debauchery is always a recipe for good times. Our trip runs Sunday to Tuesday and I expect I won't have any online access or even much cell phone access during that time. I'm bummed I might miss Beat's arrival in McGrath, but I'm hoping he'll be well on his way toward Nome by the time I return. Updates will be sparse during this time, but I'll be tracking my own trip so you can follow our progress at this link:
Jill's SPOT page
If I get out any mid-trip text updates at all it will likely be to my Twitter account.
Beat will be in a black hole of communication himself, but there may be snippets of information about his whereabouts at these links:
ITI Facebook updates