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 Still Fat, Still Old, Still Climbing
Alaskan Adventures Continue
back to Fall 2002- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - March/April 2003- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - on to May 2003

The past few years have bestowed warmer than average winters, but 2002-2003 was amazing even by those changing standards. I was able to climb Flattop in November and December. We had just a bit of winter, and I made no attempt to climb my favorite mountain in January or February, but early thaws in March enticed me upward. In previous years, my spring hikes started in May. Much of the trail was covered with deep snow, and exposed rocks were very icy. I came close to the summit but was afraid to go on because of the treacherous ice. From the tracks near the top, I could see that only two people had summitted that day. However, Flattop was hosting a major conference of rock ptarmigan (upper left, below.) We saw dozens of them. On the way back down, I lost my footing on one of the long, steep snow fields. Seeing no real danger in it, I just let myself slide on down to firmer ground below. Jascha was thrilled by this and romped like a puppy beside me, occasionally spinning in circles. I wound up wet and cold, but it was worth it.
Although several portions of the trail were still covered with deep snow a month later, a sunny warm day brought out quite a few climbers. Most did not reach the summit, but there were a few people up there when we arrived. It was actually warmer on top of the mountain than it was down in the city. There was very little snow on the top of the mountain. A little thermometer that I carry with me registered just shy of 70F; it reached about 60 in the flatlands. Up to about 3000 foot elevation, there were a number of butterflies. The sun's rays had brought them out from hibernation. A pair of bald eagles soared above the Powerline valley, enjoying the sun as much as the rest of us. And a marmot scampered down a cliff, just to drive my dog nuts. The lower right view in this collage (below) shows a couple of young men sliding down a long snow chute.

Click on the lower left photo (or here) for a large view of Powerline Trail below Flattop
Click on the butterfly in the center (or here) for more info on Alaskan butterflies
Feel free to use the scenic photo or butterfly on your website, but please leave the copyright information intact.

On to May: Bird Ridge, Table Rock, Flattop, and Anchorage scenes

Or back to:
Autumn 2002 Foretells the Winter
Rare hikes up Flattop in November and December

Back to Last Year's Adventures, 2002
Or two years ago, 2001

Back to where it all began in 2000
Enjoy the Flowers Along Alaska's Hiking Trails

Butterlies Along Alaska's Hiking Trails
Contact the Fat Old Lady