Sunday, December 11, 2016

April Sinuk Weekend

     Significant penetration into the Kigs occurred early April. Like bacteria trailing the whiplike flagella of our own vanishing snow-machine trails through the freshly fallen
Blog-Lag: 33 Saturdays Ago. An all-time kigsblog high.

taken by ian mcrae at Sinuk headwaters
Pk 3050+, looking west, taken from the ridge between the Upper Sinuk and Grand Central drainages, April 9, 2016. A cool descent drops out of sight down the northeast couloir to the right, between the twin summits, the "Z-Couloir" (referred to elsewhere in kigsblog as the "Snakey Couloir"), snow-climbed to the summit but not skied by Mikey Lean and I in some distant year. (Lift leg: Mark!)

Pk. 3050+ from Grand Central Valley
snow, David, Leonard, Lupe, and I, three teachers and a park ranger, on three machines, motored into psychological darkness north of Nome on a Friday night after work, laden with winter camping gear and downhill boards for the next day. The GLUE tendrils, all those elastic lines of force that might draw us back toward town (my sled that flipped and broke on the pass between Snake River and Stewart River, the weather forecast that had predicted storm for Sunday, my own fears and laziness) stretched, stretched, snapped, and popped, one by one, with no recoil to our forward movement, as the mountains took us in, looming invisibly on all sides, mind set free.
Fine morning on Upper Sinuk
       Given that a storm was forecast Sunday, my lawyers would be bound to get me off with a JUSTIFIED BAIL if I didn't do a big climb the next day. To do a big climb I would need to separate from my party of friends, not allowable under the NO SKETCH PARTNER LAW. On the other hand, if I didn't try for a big hard-ass climb, I would place myself in possible violation of the SNOW-MACHINE MOUNTAINEERING PROVISO, which states that a snow-machine or all-terrain vehicle may only be used in support of a reasonably hardcore climbing objective, not simply for the sake of snow-machining itself. Another problem with not climbing the next day was the SNOW-MACHINE / MOUNTAINEERING RATIO: the minimum threshold is 1:1, or "fifty-fifty" snow-machining to mountaineering, but if I didn't pull off a full-value climbing day the next day, the ratio would shoot sky high, and I would once again be out of compliance with the MANDATORY CLIMBING REQUIREMENT LAW.
sinuk river looking south
Looking southwest out the Sinuk headwaters. In another distant year, Laurent Dick and I fabricated a mixed climb out of that low-angle ridge visible background left, the northwest rib of "False Tigaraha." (Lift leg: Mark!) 
      My self-prosecution received a dismissal the next day when we managed a fine little skin-up and ski-down at the direct head of the valley, thus barely avoiding a NON-PARTICIPATION CLAUSE. The deal was sealed when we saw tracks: an aklaq had recently emerged from its den not 300 meters from our chosen line. To the southwest,  weather began to loom up off the ocean and head our way. A long ride home awaited us. Dave shredded on his splitboard. I managed on my telly rig.
       Sufficient evidence of demonstrable danger on all sides forced the Kigs-Judge to throw out the TECHNICAL CHICKEN-OUT, bringing the dismissal. Redundant, really, when one considers the monumental Kigsblog vs. Allapa, where a summit attempt on Turncorner Mt. was thwarted by a long nap on a ledge and the case brought to court, in which it was decided that the presence of beauty obviates the need for any self-prosecution in the first place. 
     Beauty abounds in the upper Sinuk Valley. Just to be in the sacred cirque is rad enough, and to be there with friends elevates the experience to a joy so pure so as to consign narcissistic drivel such as that demonstrated in this blogpost to the realm of pure silliness.
ski kigluaik mountains
Tigaraha, the Finger, looking southwest.