Reinventing The Wheel In Juneau, Alaska
By | June 1st, 2011
“You know, you cant reinvent the wheel..” commented a Haines loving friend upon hearing we were off exploring new terrain near Juneau. Alaska was having a reported worst snow year in 40 years, and the prospect of finding new un-skied terrain seemed daunting to say the least. Luckily with a team of eager, seasoned explorers in our crew we weren’t deterred from the challenge.
At the helm, Ian McIntosh was our point man. With countless hours scouring topo maps, virtually flying goolge earth terrain, and scanning the backgrounds of climbing photos, he demonstrated how he earned his nickname, Mapintosh. Ian showed up in Alaska two weeks before our trip started and began doing recon in between Anchorage and Valdez. He booked fixed wing aircraft flights, and logged terrian with a GPS and a digital camera in hand. Ian’s report was grim, in a email he noted that it would take a seasons worth of snowfall to ski the type of lines we were looking for. Reports were that south east AK had been getting the most snow, but thoughts of retreating to Haines were unappealing.
With new beta on hand we made arrangements to check out Juneau, Ian booked more recon flights, and hundreds of miles were covered with eagle eyes. Scoping terrain between Haines and Petersburg we slowly developed a hit list confirming that we were in one of the only places holding good snow, and new terrain.
The “why?” question started creeping up in our minds and certainly in others, begging for an answer to what motivates us to go through so much trouble. We could easily roll in to Haines, where terrain is well established, and pick the low hanging fruit. While our mission, our job, is to ” get shots” that goal is overshadowed by the desire, and need to go beyond. To feel the excitement and awe that a new experience provides is not only what makes life interesting, but also makes it so fun.
**Views from the heli while filming in Juneau, Alaska**
**Scale is always so tricky in alpine terrain, this glacial toung is five miles wide**
**Views like this keep us searching for more...**
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