There is a new law in Alaska that requires you to order food with your beer at restaurants. This makes killing time a little more expensive. At least we are putting on some more calories before getting to the glacier for our backcountry ski expedition on Mount Hayes, Alaska.
The drive from Fairbanks to Delta Junction took about an hour. There is not much going on here. A road, a handful of restaurants, and a lot of space. We found a bar where food was not a prerequisite to beer and played pool. The only other patron was a man who desperately wanted to watch the NHL playoffs. Unfortunately the bar didn’t have the channel, and we soon had the place to ourselves.
The mountains, specifically Hayes, are in view here. For the first time we caught a glimpse of our objective while walking off the beer and fried food that we had consumed in boredom. The peak is huge. In the golden afternoon light it rose up 11,000 feet from where we were standing, but luckily only 7,000 feet from where we will fly to.
Our pilots want us ready at 7:30 am to weigh everything and figure out how to get all of us and our gear onto the ice in as few trips as possible.
WildSnow.com guest blogger Anton Sponar spends winters enjoying the Aspen area of Colorado, while summers are taken up with slave labor doing snowcat powder guiding at Ski Arpa in Chile. If Anton didn’t ski every month and nearly every week of the year, skiing would cease to exist as we know it.