Outsiders: Deb and Brian Spicer

Posted: Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ages: 32 and 31, respectively

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Occupation: Deb is the director of the Juneau Watershed Partnership, a community-based organization to improve the health of the watershed in the borough. She's been there since February. Brian is studying for his master's in teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast. He's a student teacher, in math and science, at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

From: The Spicers moved to Juneau from Bozeman, Mont., in 2005, but had worked here seasonally before. Brian was a kayak ranger at Tracy Arm. Deb was a ranger at Pack Creek. "We were familiar with Juneau, and it has the mountains and the ocean," she said. "We wanted to come back and check out the wintertime."

On Friday: Deb was waiting for Brian to return with a new car battery so they could journey to Dredge Lakes.

Favorite winter activity: Telemark skiing. The Spicers had plenty of experience as downhill and cross-country skiers and were encouraged to try telemarking, a free-heeled hybrid of both forms, when they lived in Montana. Deb started in the winter of 1997-98. Brian started one year earlier. "Last year we didn't get out as much in our skis in the winter," she said. "It was our first winter. We were kind of new. It seems like we've done more in the last few weeks than in the last year.

"We do a lot of back-country skiing in the wintertime, and here it becomes more touring instead of making turns," she said. "We like to get out and explore more in summertime, checking out plants and wildlife. And in the wintertime, we do quite a bit of birding, though we're very amateur."

Favorite summer activity: Sea kayaking. "We went out to Berners Bay in late August," Deb said. "We paddled a little bit off Douglas Island and made day trips here and there. We tend to go out the road, Amalga Harbor or Echo Cove, or Lena Cove or Tee Harbor."

Juneau telemarking vs. Montana telemarking: "Since we're on the coast, the snow is a little moister, heavier than it is in Montana," Brian said. "The heavier snow is a little harder to make turns in."

Favorite spot: "We're still exploring, and we're still figuring it out here," Deb said. "But we have been spending some time in Spaulding Meadows and tomorrow were heading up to Eagle Glacier cabin for the night. And we spent a lot of time out at Point Bridget, although we haven't put on the skis. There's so much to see, so much to explore. We're looking for more open terrain. One thing we enjoy about Spaulding Meadows is the view, and it opens up there."

• Outsiders is a weekly profile in the Outdoors section.

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