As much as we like breaking in new lines and just simply skiing perfect Chugach powder at PNH Tour Camp, any time spent on “Danno’s” is memorable. It’s quite possibly the peak we most look forward to skiing each tour season. The thing is, although it’s not that far of a walk from camp, you still need the right ingredients to come together in order to make the call for a session. It really takes the right combination of weather, snow, stability and of course clients. As stated earlier, our Week 3 crew hit it just right, and the window for a tour to the spines was just what the doctor ordered after a few days of beautiful powder, steeps and skiing a gorgeous first descent couloir.
The tour from our camp to the base of “Danno’s” is pretty cruiser. It’s about an 800 foot vertical gain before you rip skins and ski about 2400 vertical feet of mellow, rolling terrain to its base. From there we commonly skin up the climber’s left side of the peak and take the time to study what lines look most appealing. While spines are the dreams of some, it’s understandable that not everyone wants to ski terrain like this. That said, the powder around the “Danno’s” area is usually about as cold as it gets. It’s the place where days after the last snowflake fell, the snow will still be Chugach perfection. In that light a descent right next to where we skin up is still worth the trip out there as the powder skiing is easily 5-star quality.
If you are one of the skiers or riders that dream about skiing Alaskan spines then this peak has got you covered. There’s a diversity of lines to choose from that include moderately pitches ramps and spines, all the way up to as rad as you want to get. If you look at the first shot leading this piece with a creative eye you know exactly what I mean. The looker’s right side offers one of the easier ways to get into the wall, while the looker’s left side offers a cornice to negotiate before getting to the top of the lines.
Jeff and I are lucky to have Cordova local fisherman, Wesley Thompson help us run camp. On this day Wes was able to get out for the session with us and leave one of the rowdier tracks of the day. The above shot is his POV down the rider’s right portion of the spines.
By the end of this session, building off the past few days, bodies were tired and minds were blown. “Danno’s” has the ability to deliver just that, especially when the snow is as perfect as it was.
The Canadians enjoyed a couple more days of Chugach bliss before it was time to welcome our Week 4 guests. The only thing is, before they could actually arrive another large storm was headed our way. We didn’t know how big the storm would actually be, but the shovels were about to come out in full force as camp was set to get dumped on one more time.
Stay tuned for episode 6, the final piece in this series, dropping soon…