Follow adventurer Andrew Skurka as he skis, hikes, and rafts 4,720 miles through eight national parks, two major mountain ranges, and some of North America's wildest rivers in Alaska and the Yukon from March to October. Read his blog updates here.
In talking recently with my parents and friends I gather that not everyone is familiar with the lingo I've been using to describe the current springtime conditions. I'll attempt to define a few of the most important terms now.
In the winter and summer, conditions are relatively predictable. Winter: cold temps, dry snow, frozen rivers and lakes, full snow coverage. Summer: warm, wet, open rivers and lakes, no snow. But in the spring, conditions are something in between, and changes are happening rapidly in the transition from winter to summer. A slope may be covered in snow today, but bare next week. A river that had frequent ice bridges yesterday may be completely open tomorrow. The snow may feature a supportive crust at 8 a.m. but might be the consistency of a slushie by noon.