snow mountains = ski!

This isn't going to be Mexico Part II. I apologize, and wonder if I'll ever get around to putting that up here. We'll see...we're already over 9 hours of daylight in Homer, and that sort of change is not terribly conducive to more computer-blog updating time than I already spend at work. However, it was pouring rain the other day, so you never know when I might feel housebound and inspired.

For now, however, I'm just avoiding working on grant proposals in Girdwood! It's 9:30pm and I'm sleepy tired. I drove up last night for a three day Level 1 avalanche course through the Alaska Avalanche School.

You might say, but Rachel, you aren't really much of a downhill skier, are you? And, well, it's true. I'm a complete novice. However, I am enamored with the idea of backcountry skiing, and spent the initial $$$ to buy a set of used randonee/alpine touring gear. That being said, I'm absolutely not going to be driving up to Girdwood to lay out the additional cash to practice skiing at Alyeska (though I had a ton of fun up here a few weeks ago with friends!). So the place to practice will be the place I love - in the mountains. Which happens to be an area where avalanches occur. It's true. Sadly it sounds as though three people were killed today - two in Turnagain Pass and one above Eagle River. Those who know me know I'm not too much of a wicked big risk taker. But even with that being said, some pictures of these avalanche releases don't look too out-of-my-range:
(from the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Advisory website:

So here I am, in a three day (and I mean full day - 8am-7pm) class about how, why, and where avalanches happen. Just a few photos from today: