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So, Heli Skiing in Alaska is scary. You get dumped on top of a mountain you’ve never seen the side of, you can’t tell how far anything is away, you’re on a tiny little ridge and you know the avalanche danger is high……… You also feel super alive, you can feel the earth under your feet and you breathe deep and tell your guide through the two way…. DROPPING!!  Then you get humbled….. you realise that thing you thought was about 200 metres away is actually 600 metres away, you feel your legs burning and your breath is like fire on your lungs, you wonder why you came here and you wonder why you didn’t spend the whole pre-season running 100km a day at high altitude…… this place is for big boys and I think at the moment I am still toddling and sometimes the only thing I think is “Dropping” is my stomach when I get left on the top of a 5000 foot line and I am standing on top of a 3 metre wide ridge with near certain death in the case of a fall to the south face.

Haines Alaska is real, the consequences are real and the fear is real. All you can really do is take a breath and hope you’re prepared……….

All that said, this place is amazing. The people guiding and teaching us are the best in the world. We have the lead guide and Alaska guide for TGR teaching us, we have spent 5 days under the tuition of Bill Glude, one of the world leaders in Avalanche research and the guides here come from some seriously gnarly mountaneering, skiing and climbing backgrounds…. I trust their judgements and I feel safer in their presence. Will I ever be one?? I am not sure, but I definitely know I am alive everyday I wake up here…..


It Starts

February 16, 2011

So today we started the first day of guide school on a lovely clear day, mountains surrounding the fire hall where our wilderness first aid section of the course is happening, on Mosquito Lake road. In fact the mountains here surround everything, and as they only pop there faces out of the clouds every few days or so it is massively overwhelming to see these monoliths, in the knowledge that in the not so distant future we will be stepping out of helicopters on to the top of them.  Pretty intense amount of learning, but once again I am finding you can teach old dogs new tricks which is great because this old dog loves new tricks!!

Oh and for those of you wanting a lovely sunny winter holiday, here is the place to be, sunny, blue skies………………..-20 degrees at sea level.  Come and hang out on the beach !!!

At Haines, 26 mile, staring at some big arse Alaskan mountains without a lift in sight…………..

I’m Here…….

February 3, 2011

After  a 36 hour straight through drive from Haines, I have arrived.  Home base for the next few months, and a place that should create a massive learning curve in my skiing.  At the moment I am staring out the window over the bay, staring at the most beautiful mountains that reach from sea to sky. For that exact reason this post is gonna be short, I can’t take my eyes way from a view like that. A photo journal of the drive should be up soon but until then I will just leave you with a taste of what the drive is like.