Monday, August 11, 2008

Hiking in Girdwood

I previously mentioned that Ben, Scott, Tricia, and I went hiking in Girdwood. Girdwood is a small town about 45 minutes outside of Anchorage, toward Seward. It is best known, I think, for being the home of the Alyeska Ski Resort, by far the best ski resort in Alaska. I skied there twice in eighth grade and remembered it fondly.

I am not much of a hiker. To be honest, I never have been. After this hike, though, I called my mom to apologize for being such a spoilsport as a kid. (Lots of the whining involved mosquitoes, the rest was bears and tiredness, I believe.) I would have whined my whole way through the hike 10-15 years ago, but now, well, it was simply stunning and worth every minute.

One plant I hadn't seen for ages was Devil's Club. It took Tricia and I a while, but she eventually remembered what it was called. We knew it wasn't something you should touch, we were just blanking on the name.

The Winner Creek hike starts behind the tram up to the top of the mountain and follows along the base of the mountain, later winding to follow streams and ending up at a gorge with a hand tram. Below is Ben pulling himself across.

On the other side of the gorge, we climbed down to the river and took pictures. Then we headed back to the resort. I was having problems with my hiking boots, not having worn them in about 5 years, and Tricia suggested the perfect remedy.

I put a bandage over the blistering area and then covered it with duct tape, which Tricia cleverly had on hand. That seemed to do the trick for quite some time.

Back at the resort, we paid to go up to almost the top of the mountain, where the chalet and restaurant are.

The guys were excited about throwing snowballs.

I liked the fact that there were still runs officially open on June 28.

As a kid, I used to think that skiing down from the top (which I never did) would feel like skiing straight into the ocean.

Finally for tonight, I leave you with this picture of a double black diamond at Alyeska. Compared to this, most slopes in Minnesota are no more than bunny hills.

These posts are getting a little picture heavy, but that helps break up the page. Leave me a comment if you like it or hate it and I'll try to respond.


Reid said...


I like it or hate it.


Katie said...

I realize my choice of words was poor... At least I know you read the end of my post.