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Thread: Haines Highlights
10-28-2009, 06:12 PM #101Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
epic pics, been keeping me stoked all summer! Heading to haines this march for 6 weeks, so stoked! Given ideal conditions, you ever take clients up Tomahawk or is it strictly friends and filmers?
10-28-2009, 08:32 PM #102
Maybe Blurred will tow you back there with his sled.
Seriously though, some "regular" clients get to ski tomahawk, but not very often. They are usually return clients that have a lot of AK experience and great rapport with their guide. Not only do you need to be an exceptionally strong skier to ski lines like Tommy, but you need to have excellent backcountry protocol which is unfortunately much less common than ripping skiers seem to be these days. It is hard to train for the type of skiing in AK outside of AK. You see, a line like Tomahawk is as much of a mental puzzle as it is a skiing one. In most places you are generally only concerned with what is in front of you while you are skiing. However, on big faces with lots of sluffing you need to be cognizant of what's behind you too. Tomahawk happens to be a sluff funnel of death! You need to know where you have to go fast and where you need to scrub speed. You also need to be able to look at a line from afar and be able to translate how the features will look when you are moving down a slope at a high speed when you can only see three turns in front of you, which is IMO one of the hardest aspects of riding complex terrain. Sometimes, face shots are the last thing you want!!!
Of course the other side of the coin is that you need near perfect avalanche/snow conditions to get on a huge face. Many of the lines you see in the movies are only rideable maybe a few times a season at best. Or perhaps, they may only be "in" every few years. A beacon really isn't going to do shit for you if you take a 4000' ride unless you're really lucky. While the airbags are showing some potential, I will still make all my decisions while pretending that they don't exist.
That being said, most clients get to ski some pretty rowdy lines on a trip to Haines. I think the only guests that we've ever had leave dissatisfied we're proud owners of CMH 1,000,000 vertical feet 1 piece suits who really didn't know what they were in for.
P.S. That Tomahawk photo was taken during the filming of Rage Film's 2007 movie, "Enjoy" If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Reggie Crist's line on Tomahawk is very impressive. There is also a good example of how the line can live up to it's name. Enak Gavaggio also does a front flip off one of the "Sexy Spines" above huge exposure which is undoubtedly one of the sickest things I've ever seen.
10-28-2009, 09:20 PM #103
Another thing I forgot to mention is that Tomahawk is about as far back as the birds are allowed to fly. If you were to just straight go for it, the round trip commute would be about .5 hobbs hours which would set you back quite a few benjis. What this means is unless you have a private or semi-private heli, your chances of getting back there are much lower. Of course you would probably want to run a circuit and throw in a Hangover Helper or Indy 5000' lap, Caffeine Ridge, perhaps a Deflowered, a Mini Goat, a Goat, and some Swiss Cheese to make a day out of it!
10-29-2009, 01:37 AM #104Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
I really lucked out being put in a private heli with pro's for the last 2 days. I was stoked doing chugach lines such as film flutes, tomahawk, AAA, and the elusive Meteorite (we had to belay over a giant ice shelf at the top). We did 6 first decents and had 70" fresh inches then blue bird for 5 days and a minor wind event. This was my first time with this outfit but I think If your lucky to be with a very strong group, have perfect conditions and weather, and prove yourself, they will take you on stuff that will scare the shit outa most anyone.
Last edited by sts9andski; 10-29-2009 at 09:10 PM.
10-29-2009, 06:41 PM #105Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
Thanks Stalefish, really appreciate the response and completely agree! After living and skiing in Whistler for many years, I'd always thought that shredding in Alaska, while obviously bigger and steeper, wouldn't be all that different. But after seeing top notch Whistler shredders like McIntosh and Dana come back from their first AK trip completely humbled, I've realized how gnarly these mountains really are! Heard stories of avies and heli crashes, fast sluff and big faces, sounds crazy!
One more question: I'm gonna be in haines from mid march to mid april with between 3 to 4 grand budget. I'm not too worried about the amount of days I get, more so the quality of terrain. Whats my best option? Worried about getting stuck with gorbies and skiing flat glaciers as I will probably be up there solo. Was thinking of doing some of the $800 single day trips, but would appreciate your advice.
Its snowing down here, oh yeah!
10-29-2009, 09:03 PM #106Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
I would do the cheapo last minute single day deals that some outfits offer (600-700). If you have a full month, wait for the really really good days (cold, high pressure system right after fresh snow). Also, make sure the group you ski with are very strong and have been many times b4, you will have much better chances at skiing the gnar. When I was in Valdez, there was a handful of guys basically camping out waiting for good weather single day flights.
10-29-2009, 10:00 PM #107
People think it's a bigger crap shoot to book a week, but I would say it is probably more of a risk to try to fly on standby. Not to say you can't get lucky, but nothing sucks more than knowing everyone else is killing it while your twiddling your thumbs at the airport or 33 mile.
10-29-2009, 10:24 PM #108
less words.......more stoke
1/3 of the holy trinity
This is the Flower Mountain zone. It's easily sled accessible Blurred!!! I rode up there on a junker Arctic Cat 500 with a lady on the back once.
10-29-2009, 10:46 PM #109
Pics of the lady??????
p.s. had lunch with Rob R. in Trinidad, CA two weeks ago. He told us you broke his arm.
10-29-2009, 11:11 PM #110
10-29-2009, 11:15 PM #111
Better than the AKPM slaggin' whales... [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=172800"]I love Juicy Rebounds - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]
But you shoulda gone short, because the correct answer is ONE SWIM. Looks like Rob should have at least 30 seconds of heli credit.
10-30-2009, 07:57 AM #112
So sick... Nice
10-30-2009, 09:00 AM #113
thanks for all the kewlass pics sickfish
your givin ted shred a run for his money as the purveyor of haines stoke...
couple of other AK guide types runnin around bzmn/bb patrol etc, sure you knew that, lil smaller scale mtns 'round here but good for snowstudies I bet...
my broNlaw lives in juneau so lookin forward to gettin up there someday, sooner than later I hope...
10-30-2009, 11:34 AM #114
Yes, I'm pretty lucky to be studying at MSU. There are lots of brilliant snow safety gurus around Bozo for the size of the population. For my thesis research I get to piggyback my data collection on top of the guiding gig in AK. I'm working on mapping and assessing surface hoar spatial variability at the mountain range scale. Last year was kind of a trial run, and the next two years are the real deal. Hopefully, I will be able to make some discoveries that will keep everyone a little safer out in the hills!
11-07-2009, 01:49 PM #115
disclaimer: Seracs are dangerous. Stay away from them.
11-09-2009, 11:30 AM #116
This thread continues to deliver. Awesome pics of both skiing and terrain. ^^^ I want to play on seracs now.
Enak Gavaggio also does a front flip off one of the "Sexy Spines" above huge exposure which is undoubtedly one of the sickest things I've ever seen.
__________________"The skis just popped me up out of the snow and I went screaming down the hill on a high better than any heroin junkie." She Ra
11-11-2009, 06:07 PM #117
12-04-2009, 02:02 PM #118
PSA: 43" base at the Haines border station (el. 800'). Snowline has been hovering around 1500' lately. Most heli-run PZs are between 2-3500'.
Translation: 6000' is deeeeeeeeeep sauce.
This is what my yard looked like in '07 during the last El Nino event which is a few miles down the road from customs.
12-04-2009, 04:15 PM #119Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
Absolutely amazing and I am completely jealous. Those are some great looking lines
02-02-2010, 10:32 PM #120
This could be you.
I would like to announce a heli-skiing Maggot Special. For the latter part of February 2010, Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventures will be offering heli runs for $75 a run. Yes, you read that right. PM me for details. Our new website will be up very soon.
as of today:
41" base @ sea level.
86" base at 800'.
02-03-2010, 07:34 AM #121
We've won it. It's going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.
02-03-2010, 11:31 AM #122
oh shit is right. I feel a trip to Haines coming on.
02-03-2010, 11:51 AM #123
God damn! Thanks for the stoke. I have goosebumps!
Aside: is it possible to wear out the "Set as Desktop Background" button?
02-03-2010, 01:07 PM #124
I've skied this one quite a few times from the looker's left shoulder, but have been waiting for a fat year to get in from the couloir down and left from the summit. This year is fat. Would you like to come along?
02-03-2010, 01:39 PM #125
^^^ puked in my mouth and jizzed my pants all at the same time.
Anchorage/Gwood mags, I am looking bring the sled and drive down for the last week of Feb. Anyone interested in hitching a ride down for Stalefish's deal PM me.
Last edited by Loon; 02-03-2010 at 02:31 PM.