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  Still Fat, Still Old, Still Climbing
Alaskan Adventures Continue
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There's just a light dusting of snow on Flattop so far this year, and no snow in town yet. Last year at this time, we had considerably more snow in the mountains, (although Chinook winds melted it away later.) [See comparison shots here: last October, this October.] There was enough snow for Jascha to have a good time rolling in it and eating it. It was quite cold up there, with slippery ice from the second saddle up to the summit. As usual, nice weather--dry with clouds and sun-- brought out a crowd of people who love this mountain. We were all rewarded with a beautiful view of North America's highest peak, Mount McKinley, about 100 miles away. My new camera allowed me to get a decent picture of the alpenglow effect; click on the small version (lower, right) to get a full screen view.

Flattop collage

Click the scenes above or here for 1008X756 pixel versions:
View of Flattop Mountain, from near the trailhead

View of Anchorage from Flattop
Mt. McKinley, as seen from Flattop Mountain
You are welcome to use any photographs from this site, but please leave the copyright information intact.

For awhile there, it looked like we would not have winter this year. But November 10th, about one month behind schedule, we had some snow that gave us only about 6" in town. Then the temperature dropped lower than it did anytime last year. Although it was around zero for several days, I decided to go for a nice walk anyway, up by Flattop. I bundled up and strapped on some mountaineering crampons to handle the deeper snowpack up there. (Jascha is always dressed for a chilly hike.) I stayed comfortable and had great traction, but my water bottle tube froze up immediately. So I decided to take the short trail around Blueberry Hill, on the side of Flattop Mountain. Hoarfrost covered everything, creating a magical scene. All the small pictures below have full-screen links if you click on them. Check out the one on the top right; It's of Mount Susitna, about 40 miles away, locally known as "Sleeping Lady." In this view, she is resting on a bed of clouds, floating over the city of Anchorage. You might also enjoy seeing my first effort at photographing the northern lights, seen at 1:30AM on the same date: aurora 1 - aurora 2

Blueberry Hill, chill

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Enjoy the Flowers Along Alaska's Hiking Trails

Butterflies Along Alaska's Hiking Trails
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