And not always in the preferred direction…
Winter was off to such a great start in Anchorage! Just three weeks ago, there was a nice base layer of snow in town. The trails were covered, users had packed them down really well. The temperatures were low: hovering around 1 – 10 degrees.
I preferred the cold temperatures. Thanks to freezing temps, snow on the trails was solid. Running or bicycling was almost as good as it would be on pavement. No slush, hardly any ruts to push through. Finding the right warm layers took practice, but we survived.
And then, the temperatures rose just enough. SNOW! And lots of it. Just a week ago, Anchorage got 6+ inches in a day. We were north in Hatcher Pass and it dumped a foot overnight. At higher elevations, even more.
Two days of shoveling, skiing and skiing some more (for Adam). We were happy people!
A crazy downside to all the snow: it was coming down on an unstable base layer. Eventually the pressure was too much and Hatcher Pass had a wild avalanche. You can read more and see pictures here and here.
And now, after all that… the temperatures have warmed. Rain has fallen. Then the temperatures dropped again, just a smidge.
A lot of the snow has melted and what’s left is a mess. Where there isn’t snow, there’s ice. The trails, parking lots and roads all have spots of visible and black ice across them, making for a really interesting experience walking or running anywhere.
I set out for a run this morning, figuring I’d do my normal 4-5 mile loop around University Lake. Yea, right. The trail starts on a really small down hill. Today it’s covered in black ice. I slid to the bottom, on my feet thankfully. I rounded the bend for the really small uphill that is covered in visible, slick ice as far as I can see.
So, I turn around and make a pass for Russian Jack park. And it’s a little better. The first downhill is dry, but the ice picks up at the bottom and goes on all the way through the park.