Saturday, July 31, 2010

Matanuska Peak Challenge

Adventure Beckoned: The Matanuska Peak Challenge. This race is 14 miles round-trip with 9,100' vertical gain. The race includes a bonus summit of Matanuska Peak, clocking in at 6,119'. There are no aid stations available and mandatory gear is required: Windbreaker/long underwear tops/bottoms, hat, gloves, and H20 bottle. The race cranks up Lazy Mountain, down Lazy Mountain, up Matanuska Peak, down Matanuska Peak, up Lazy Mountain, and back down Lazy Mountain to the finish line. The race is difficult and the views are amazing. The pictures in this collection were taken by Todd Kasteler: Friend, ultra marathon runner, ski mountaineer, and civil engineer.

Matanuska Peak as seen from the summit of Lazy Mountain.

Mat Peak is a long distance away! Lots of terrain to cover!

Todd Kasteler enjoying life on the summit of Matanuska Peak.

I'm exhausted and need some GU to resurrect my energy. Although, it does feel GREAT to be on the summit of Matanuska Peak again!

John Collins, a fellow adventurer, takes a moment from his duties as race checker to congratulate me on making it to the summit--which is only the half way point of the race!

From left to right: Me, John Collins, and Todd Kasteler.

Depleted, but almost finished. The only segment left is the descent from Lazy Mountain.

Although I didn't set any course records today, I did have fun. Todd says that I came in first place in the Hlasny Division. Cool!

Finish line! Thanks Todd!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ptarmigan Peak

Adventure beckoned. One of my favorite local mountains to climb is Ptarmigan Peak. It only takes 2.5 hours to climb, but it has a nice combination of adventure elements. I thoroughly enjoyed the outing today: Blue skies, sun, no wind, and spectacular views. After the run, I sat on my porch and listened to Rush, ate a peach, and went to church with my family. Tonight I plan to watch Avitar again with my wife. What a great day in Anchorage!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Knoya Traverse

Adventure beckoned. This journal entry is from a spring 2010 climb that my friend Todd Kasteler and I completed. The route headed up Campbell Creek Canyon, up and over Knoya Point from the SW, down a snowfield between Knoya and Kanchee, and back to where we started. Our Knoya Traverse was a supreme way to spice up a familiar area!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Window of Opportunity

Family adventure beckoned. My brother Nick and sister Kerri flew into Anchorage from Wisconsin to visit. They were game for some backcountry adventure, Alaska Style. For the last several weeks, the weather has been either raining, windy, cloudy, or flat out miserable. Our recent camping trip to Homer involved pouring rain and dampness. However, Friday, July 9, 2010 provided a small, but brilliant window of opportunity to explore the backcountry. It was 75 degrees and sunny! It has been so long since I saw the sun that I almost forgot what it looked like. Our route took us up Falls Creek and towards South Suicide Peak. The weather was fabulous, the views outstanding, and the hike was invigorating. We cranked up to a point on the ridge leading to South Suicide, ate lunch, soaked up the sun (and wind!), took multiple pictures, and decided it was time to head back home. We ran down a nice long mellow snowfield all the way to the tarn. We relaxed at the tarn for a bit, took in more grandeur, and then set off once again. The hike back to the trailhead was pleasant but tiring. In the end, we had a great five-hour hike in Alaska! That night at home the clouds moved back in and it started to rain.