Friday, May 11, 2012

Ladies Plane Trip in AK

Buckling the seatbelt of Drake’s small ski plane, I take a deep breathe. Camera… check, sunglasses… check, puffy coat… check. I don’t have time for a complete checklist, but I know I have everything. Or at least I am going to re-assure myself for now, it was a bit of a last minute endeavor this go-around. I slide the headset on and listen to Drake taxi out the runway. Here we go, no turning back now… I barely know these people. Iris is in the front seat. She has a glowing spirit that is calm and comforting. As we float into the air above the Chilkat valley I am mesmerized by the raw beauty of this place. How did I end up here?

As we make our way North Northwest toward the Muir Glacier drake points out the various peaks and valleys of the area. “There’s 300 million acres of mountains from here north to Valdez,” he says. 300 million acres… I cannot even comprehend that. Iris and I smile and laugh as we dance through the peaks, excitement and anticipation pulsing through our  veins.
We land and step out onto the vast Glacier where we will be camped. Drake fires up the plane and takes off. We were the last group to be dropped and suddenly we are all alone, miles from civilization. I guess I am going to get to know these people pretty well.
Fast forward to the days out…

Laura Hadar has one of the most intriguing spirits of any female athlete I have ever met. She is calm, cool, and collected at all times and has the most entertaining comentary and insight. She finds humor in everything.
Our first day skinning was simply that, skinning. The snow conditions were pretty horrific.

The scenery alone made the trip worth while.
Michaela Precourt organized the whole trip. What an incredible individual, and talk about motivated. There is nothing this girl cannot do. It was a pleasure to spend time in the mountains with her, and I know that I will be in the mountains with her again soon.

It is a rare occasion that I get to be in the backcountry with chicas, not to mention chicas on snowboards miles from civilization in glaciated Alaska. What a neat experience.

Despite marginal conditions we were able to ski a few good lines and spend time with great people. But that’s what it’s about right? The experience. There’s nothing quite like being off the grid. Disconnected. Having to dig a runway to get picked up… but that’s another story.
Stay tuned for more…
Until next year Alaska,
Signing out,