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The Good ole Pineapple Express has done it again… Full on spring conditions for the entire month of January minus all the daylight.

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It started off as all fun and games with the deep and dreamy.

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And some greybird days in the alpine.

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Very Scottish conditions as the temps and precip started to skyrocket.

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Then came the meltdown. Sometimes you have to walk on thin ice to get to the fat stuff.

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Better hightail it to the nearest climb before it’s all gone!

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The mountains were just falling apart. Record sized avalanches were blasting into the ocean from the high country, the ski resort closed and ice climbs were falling onto the highway but at least we were on top rope! You can’t tell in this picture but Colin was getting absolutely soaked. It looked like he was taking a shower while climbing. Afterwards, we heard the news about the Valdez avalanche that buried the only road to town and dammed the Lowe River, threatening an unthinkable flash flood. If you haven’t already seen the video…

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So I decided it was time to leave the coast and head for the interior mountains. To make the most of a grim situation, I thought that this might be a unique opportunity to visit the places that are usually downright too cold to visit in January.

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Travis McAlpine

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John Giraldo

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James Gustafson

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Bryan Roerick and co

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With no snowfall in recent memory, travel conditions couldn’t have been better for the snowmachines. A great opportunity to get deep in the mountains and explore terrain for the future.

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On one such recon mission, we linked up multiple creek crossing and thin bridges where we would get face shots of water that would instantly freeze to us in the 5 degree weather. Here you can see Bryan and Todd adding another layer.

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One day, John G and I decided to double up on one sled and head deep into the hills to discover some new terrain for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if you have only been here a couple of years (me) or your entire life (John), you can always find somewhere new to go that will blow your noggin. There was obviously some widespread natural avalanche activity here.

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So we decided to shred somma that flat pow-ish like crusty facet oreo stuff.

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And dream of the future.

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Big ice lurkin.

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And just when our gaze was fixated on the mountains above, we suddenly crossed paths with a herd of caribou.

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Tough as nails to live out here. We also had quite a few moose standoffs that went undocumented. We were a little more serious about those after John told me about how he had been charged by one while on his snowmachine. Everyone I know who was born and raised in Alaska is more scared of moose than anything. I guess they are a bit unpredictable with the calfs around so luckily we cruised by unscathed every time.

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25 miles or so in, we found this wee gem.

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The right place at the right time.

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