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Why Climb a Mountain?? Because it's there,....

Discussion in 'Storm Pictures' started by Alaska Boss, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Well, my plowing season is winding down, as it always does at this time of year,.... and with long days, mild temps & great snow conditions still left, this is the time of year to go places that one can't get to at any other time (without great effort). And so, with Alaska having tens of thousands of mountains, covered with snow most of the year, they just become a natural draw,... wondering what's on the other side of that one, etc.

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  2. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    But once in a while, a mountain has a special feature,..maybe a shape, maybe because it's composed of an unusual type of rock,.... or maybe it's just a formation that seems to defy natural explanations,... and there's a mountain like that right along one of the main highways here,... called "Gunsight Mountain", located approx 120 miles northeast of Anchorage. One look at it would show you how it got it's name. I have driven past this mountain all my life, but have never climbed it, nor do I know anyone personally that has,... and so today,... I decided it was time to have a closer look,...

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  3. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Gunsight Mountain got it's name from the sharp square-shaped cut-out located right on the top, and in the middle of the saddle,... making it look just like a huge "gun sight". What would have caused this?? I have no idea. It almost appears man-made, but I know it's not. And also knowing that things many times appear much different close up than they do from far away,... I decided to see how close I could get my snowmachine to the top of this mountain,... (this is as close as I could zoom in with my camera from the road) :bluebounc

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  4. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    So, I loaded up one of my machines, and drove about 2 hours to the closest spot to go climb up on this thing,.... I parked in a small gravel pit, and started heading up the base of the mountain,... this is looking back toward my truck and the road, from where I started,...:cool:

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  5. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Lots of other people/machines have been playing & climbing around on the foothills of Gunsight,... but the farther & higher I climbed, the fewer other tracks I saw,.. until finally I no longer saw any other tracks, old or fresh,... (other than a few fox tracks). One photo looking back down from where I came,... the other looking up to where I'm going,.... :bluebounc

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  6. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    I almost always modify my machines quite a bit, so they will perform much better than in stock form,.... and usually, as you climb up a mountain, the snow gets harder & harder,... so a person has to be careful, because some of these mountain machines will keep climbing so steep until they literally can flip over backwards. You also must be very aware of the snow conditions, so that you don't end up starting your own avalanche,... every year people get killed on mountains when they trigger an avalanche themselves, and are buried,...

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  7. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Finally, I was getting seriously close to the top.... and so I stopped now to examine & test the snow conditions,... and try to determine if it was worth trying to go a little farther up... clearly,one could not approach the "notch" from below it,... the only possible way was to follow right along the ridge on the left side,... right on top of the mountain,...xysport

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  8. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    I went a little farther,... but now the snow was getting so hard, and so steep, that, even tho I could still keep climbing ok, I knew that I might not be able to stop,... and for sure I couldn't side-hill,... so it was either go straight up and hope that I won't have to stop or turn, or stop at this point, and don't risk it,.... I decided that living to plow another year required the right choice,... so I stopped, & decided to hike up from this point,...

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  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Great pictures, Boss. So what was on the other side:D?
     
  10. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    After turning my machine off,.... I took a few pictures of the valleys to both sides of me,... and saw an airplane flying on both sides,... and realized I was looking DOWN on both of them,.... :dizzy: (you can't really see them, but both these pics have an airplane in them)

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  11. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    More mountains,... :D

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  12. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    So, I left my machine & started up on foot,.... and soon realized that this wasn't going to be too easy,.... it was very easy to lose your footing & slide down because the snow & drifts were rock-hard under a few inches of softer snow,... plus a few rocks were exposed up this high as well.... :cool:

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  13. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    It was very slow going,... and it's always farther than it looks,... it was steep enough that a few small snow slides had occured earlier at this elevation,...

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  14. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    But, I kept trudging on,.... and looking back down,... my snowmachine was looking like a black speck,... I thought I was closer than this,.... :dizzy:

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  15. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    But then suddenly, I came to an impass,... it suddenly went almost vertical for a short ways,.... and there was no going around and/or down to the left or right,... I was sooo close,... but without much greater risk to life & limb, it was just foolish to try and continue,... so I took a few last photos before starting my decent,... I was just above and just to the left of the "notch",... maybe in the summer when most of this snow is gone one could climb around this & make it,.. but not now,.... :realmad:

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  16. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    From my farthest/highest point, I couldn't actually see the notch, since I was directly to the left of it,... but it's right there between the solid snow-covered face & the bare rock wall just behind it,.... I had to go back down a ways to get better pitcures of it,...

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  17. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    A couple more shots of it as I went back down,.... I still have no idea what would cause this notch to form right at the top of this mountain like this,...

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  18. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    On my way back down to my machine,... it was easier to just sit & slide in places,... but I had to watch for rocks,... or I might have ripped a new one,..... :eek:

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  19. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    And so I got down to my machine & rode back down the mountain,... and so ended another little mountain climbing adventure,... with a final parting photo looking back up at where I had just been,... to the top of Gunsight Mountain,... just because it's there,....... :waving::waving:

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  20. jayman3

    jayman3 Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Great pic's Boss:salute: I wish I could find places like that closer to do the same with my sled,only got out twice this season.