Monday, April 4, 2011

Tailgate Alaska: First Heli Run in the Books

Clear enough to ride
The window to ride opened this afternoon for three lucky groups. Fortunately, I was among them. The rest of our group consisted of Mike from San Diego, the product manager for Dragon; Alex from Germany, the European head of distribution for Rockstar Energy Drink and Dawn, who was late to show, so I know nothing about her. She was a skier and had a Jackosn Hole Air Force patch on her pack. Our guide was Dave the Wave. He also had a JHAF patch, but a different one. The legit-looking "Swift, Silent, Deep" one. His I believed. Wavey, as we called him, was small enough to fit in my pack and let the leash out on us a little. Good man.

The route we took was near the top of the middle ridge in the picture above, but it was on the other side. It was called R.F.S. The F is the f-word. The others mean "really steep." We took the not-as-steep route, it being our first time together as a group. That said it still maintained 45° for the first 1000 feet or so, which is steeper than most runs at Mt. Hood Meadows. Oh yeah and knee-deep powder. Lower on the run the snow got worse and the terrain flattened out, but not before some nice drops and ripped turns. Some shitty traverses later and we were at the road, waiting for our shuttle home. Yes, we took the run to the road and had a van retrieve us. Works in a pinch. This time, meteorological.

For sure, the weather was hot on our tails from the second we landed. Right now, it's dumping and howling. I'm told tomorrow morning is looking good, but I'm beginning to think they say that to keep our hopes up through the night. If the wind doesn't scour the slopes clean and the sun manages to grace us with her beauty, it might be on again maƱana.

Hoping to see more of this
If that's all I get for heli-baording in Alaska, well, I'll have credit that rolls over for next year. I'm nowhere near satisfied. I'm told this is the lowest snow year on record here and with all the rocks on that run, I believe it. Then again, this storm tonight could produce. Stay tuned.


  1. That's Python. You got to go do Pussy Fart off that same peak. Enjoy yourself there Jesus. Get God like.

  2. You did it! So cool, I'm giddy and excited just reading about it.


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