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Thread: Sitski to Alaska - It's on?
04-01-2011, 08:20 PM #1
Sitski to Alaska - It's on?
So I finish at Canyons on the 17th when they close and kick me out of my suite and am trying to line up some things to do to keep my season going as long as possible.
I didn't get to heli-ski here and figure that now's the time to do it while I'm semi-proficient at sliding down hill in a hunk of metal.
As long as I can get my work visa converted to a visitor visa and hang around a while longer I'm seriously considering heading up to AK and shelling out for a jet powered chairlift, getting some footage of me shredding the gnar and speedflying up there.
Is it viable this late in the season? I figure conditions must be pretty awesome still if Sage and Seth are up there filming.
04-01-2011, 09:40 PM #2
I hear April is the month to go up, DO IT!
04-01-2011, 09:44 PM #3
DUDE heck yes. Seems AK has gotten the Nina shaft most of the winter and is going off all of the sudden.
I'm in Seattle, if you need anything holler. Maybe you could kite up the glaciers?
04-01-2011, 09:53 PM #4
Yes. Now is the time. I can't wait to see your tr!"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!!! What a ride!"
"We been runnin' these goddam hills for dang near, huh?"
04-01-2011, 09:59 PM #5
04-01-2011, 10:30 PM #6
Talking to friends in Valdez and Haines it seem the common word is blower. Git some!
04-01-2011, 10:34 PM #7
Yes, make this happen.
04-01-2011, 10:42 PM #8
I was just on the phone with Andy.
He wants to fly his speed wing in AK on a sitski.
It's never been done.
04-01-2011, 10:43 PM #9
I'm going to pull the trigger on this for sure.
I know technically I can go via Canada and re-enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program but there's a chance a grumpy border agent might decide I'm trying to reside without a proper visa. I was over on the Visa Waiver for the job interview, back to the UK for a week then back here on a work visa, trying to enter again on the Visa Waiver might look suspect. If I get turned away I'm screwed.
Applying for the new visa is pretty easy, and I get to stay until the judgement anyway, which normally takes at least a month or two. So even if I get turned down (no reason for that at all) I'll have had enough time to hit AK and shred the gnar-gnar.
What heli outfits should I be hitting up? Who are the guys that fly out of the mile marker, I like the thought of camping out with a load of ski-bums at landing site!
04-01-2011, 11:26 PM #10
Alaska Heli out of Haines flys from 33 mile. PM tedshred.
04-02-2011, 02:58 AM #11Registered Lurker
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
in the meantime we have an open room in salt lake close to a bus route to snowbird. The rooms is probably going to be open till may1 anyway. only problem is we have stairs into the house but Ill build you a ramp if you want to stay here. It would be free room + some board.
And I have some 19 din binders if you ever need some. 2 full pairs that I probably will never use. Just send a PM about either one if you are interested.
04-02-2011, 08:29 AM #12
04-02-2011, 10:06 AM #13
I don't know anything about AK heli-ops, but do contact Owenneversleeps, a long time mag that has set up some good heli deals for maggots over the years.
I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...iscariot
04-02-2011, 10:09 AM #14
Nice, thanks man. I ski on 30 din bindings but the National Ability Center could definitely use some 19's for their program. I met up with those guys the other day and they're always desperate for equipment.
Thanks for the crash offer, I'm not sure how long I'll be hanging around UT after the gig ends but if I'm back down I'll give you a shout for sure!
04-04-2011, 09:12 PM #15
we ARE starting to get hit with the annual April storm cycle... Chris Owens of CPG in Girdwood is a class operation, and they have the resort and Cats if the birds don't fly...
His Name here is "Owens Never Sleeps" and he has a thread Here that you might hook into...
Def hit me up for a visit when you are here,
04-04-2011, 09:52 PM #16
Finally got some snow at Alyeska / Turnagain but its wet & heavy unless your above 2500-3000ft or so. Top half of Aly was super fun yesterday. I heard Thompson Pass was going off right now though...if you're looking at a heli in either Valdez or Haines you are probably in good shape. I'll hopefully be car-camping the weekend of the 16th or 23rd down @ Thompson Pass, if you're going to go with one of Valdez outfits around then hit me up.
Either way let us know your gameplan, I'm sure we can rally a few of the local Anch/Gwood mags.
We've won it. It's going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.
04-05-2011, 06:11 PM #17
Just extended my visa and looking at booking a week in AK. So far I've emailed the guys at Valdez Heli Ski, Chugach Powder Guides and Points North. I'm not sure I'll be able to get a seat with such little notice but if I can then I'll be shredding AK in less than two weeks hopefully.
Got blown out today trying to do another test flight with the speed wing, really want to get a few short test flights out of the way here and take a speed wing up with me.
04-06-2011, 06:31 PM #18
No joy from the emails so far and I'm starting to panic that I'll be heading to the UK next week instead of AK, anyone up in AK who can put me in touch with someone who owns a heli?
04-06-2011, 06:39 PM #19
Andy - pm atrain and get the number or email of the guys they've been flying with in Whistler or Pemberton.
04-07-2011, 12:00 AM #20
Why do you need a seat in the heli? I thought you wanted them to sling you underneath anyway?
Come to CA. We'll be skiing at Mammoth until July 4. You can buy a pass for $650 that's good from May 1 til closing, plus all of next season too.**
I'm a cougar, not a MILF! I have to protect my rep! - bklyn
In any case, if you're ever really in this situation make sure you at least bargain in a couple of fluffers.
04-07-2011, 02:24 AM #21
Have you ever considered using your Speed Wing on the lower aspects of Denali?
I used to have a friend in Talkeetna, Jay Hudson....widely regarded as one of the best glacier/bush pilots in Alaska and son of Cliff Hudson, famous Ak mountain pilot made famous for his competition with the even more famous Don Sheldon (both are a colorful part of Alaska history!).
Jay used to have a specially modified Piper with dual cargo doors for loading much gear for researchers and climbers. His specialty was flying climbers and their gear back and forth from town to various base-camps, in preparation for climbing Denali and surrounding peaks. Jay knew the mountains like the proverbial back of his hand, and was easily the best AND safest pilot flying the mountain.
Jay died of cancer in 2009, but his special plane and his routes have been taken over by a team of equally prodigious and skilled glacier pilots at Sheldon Air Service. If anyone knows good potential landing zones for Speed Wing/Sitski combination...these pilots will. They would even be able to flag the LZ if you wanted them to. They have intimate knowledge of crevasses and snow density in potenial Speedwing landing zones and slab stability in whichever drop-off zones. They can land their plane pretty much ANYWHERE (you wouldn't BELIEVE the places and conditions they land their planes in!!!). There are SOME 'landable' spots high enough for a decent speedwing attempt to a lower lz with decent enough gradient for a safe speedwing/sitski landing. These pilots pretty much know ALL the good landing zones, as their lives depend on that knowledge.
Give it a think. It might be the right amount of stoke potential for you.
If my friend Jay was still alive and flying, I'd be able to get you a HELL of a good discount, (as Jay always had a hard-on for wild adventure) but you still might be able get a sweet deal from Holly, at Sheldon Air Service, who took over Jay's service. Give her a ring.
here's some numbers and info:
Sheldon's Air Service, Talkeetna, Ak. Contact = Holly Lee, Don sheldon's daughter and owner of the company.
Phone no. - (907) 733 - 2321 email: email@example.com I'd call rather than write, as they start getting busy with climbers beginning in May. Tell her you talked to Jay's crazy biologist friend from Valdez.
If her planes are booked up....I'd recommend these other two flying services in Talkeetna, there are others, but I'd only recommend these two with first rate reputations:
Doug Geeting Aviation. Talkeetna, Ak (907) 733 1000
K2 Aviation. Talkeetna, Ak (907) 733 2291
If you insist on a helicopter drop-off: I think ERA serves Denali and other parts of the Alaska Range:
ERA aviation = (907) 683 2574.
another good helicopter possibility for technical flying is Evergreen...they prefer remote location access and prefer to work with well-endowed mining/oil exploration companies, and thus are expensive....but they go pretty much anywhere in Ak. Here's there number: (907) 257 1500 email: firstname.lastname@example.org. They're pricey, but there's really NOWHERE they won't fly. We've used them in a pinch.
Here's a GREAT website listing flying services for ALL regions of Alaska, from Brooks Range to Southeast Ak....it is pretty inclusive...but there are MANY MANY more!!!:
Speedwing/Sitski lower aspects of Denali.......give it a serious thought.
--"The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi
Posted by DJSapp:
"Squirrels are rats with good PR."
04-07-2011, 07:02 AM #22
The reality of it really is...how much money are you willing/able to fork out?
04-07-2011, 08:10 AM #23
Looks like Alaska Heli has some seats. I didnt ask about the sitski/speedwing thing though. Call 907 767 5601 and ask for Orion or email email@example.com
Tell em Aaron from guide school last year sent ya.
04-07-2011, 03:09 PM #24
Thanks guys, I'm on it.
Just talked to Orion at alaskaheliskiing and there's a seat available, they've never had a sitskier before he's going to check with the pilot about flying with the basket open to fit the sitski in and get back to me. As long as those guys are happy to take me then I'm there.
Denali sound awesome, thanks for the info. If I wasn't rushing to try and get things sorted out I'd definitely look into it more and try it out. At the moment I'm going to be in AK for the first time and by myself so definitely want to be with a guide on the snow rather than get dropped off and get myself in trouble with my normal "Meh, it'll be alright. I'll just go down here, nothing can possibly go wrong" attitude that almost always gets me into trouble.
I'm willing to shell out. The way I see it is that I'm probably never going to have this opportunity again, and I'm pretty much at the top of my game at the moment in terms of skiing so it's now or never.
If it comes together then expect the mother of all trip reports.
04-07-2011, 03:23 PM #25
That is all.
ps, if you find yourself travelling through Prince Rupert, Terrace or Smithers let me know and I'll make sure you've got a place to crash at very least.We own it!
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