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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Summer: US & UK, Winter: Canada
    Posts
    368

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bend
    Posts
    440
    I hear April is the month to go up, DO IT!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Big Sky
    Posts
    1,437
    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?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    JH
    Posts
    1,343
    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?"
    Sturgis Uncensored

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    north by northwest
    Posts
    9,492
    Quote Originally Posted by SitSki13 View Post
    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.
    Just go through Canada on the way there -- your british passport will get you in Canada with no issues (and you'll lose the work visa), then the same way into Alaska through the visa waiver program. Should work, no?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/AK/Los Andes
    Posts
    2,679
    Talking to friends in Valdez and Haines it seem the common word is blower. Git some!
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    is Gorges
    Posts
    4,109
    Yes, make this happen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    31,864
    I was just on the phone with Andy.
    He wants to fly his speed wing in AK on a sitski.
    Holy shit.
    It's never been done.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Summer: US & UK, Winter: Canada
    Posts
    368
    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!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/AK/Los Andes
    Posts
    2,679
    Alaska Heli out of Haines flys from 33 mile. PM tedshred.
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bellevue
    Posts
    5,579
    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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Duluth
    Posts
    2,695
    ^^^Nice!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    22,110
    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Summer: US & UK, Winter: Canada
    Posts
    368
    Quote Originally Posted by abraham View Post
    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.

    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!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anchoragua, AK
    Posts
    471
    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,

    Ira

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    CO/AK
    Posts
    2,125
    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.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Summer: US & UK, Winter: Canada
    Posts
    368
    IT'S ON!!!

    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.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Summer: US & UK, Winter: Canada
    Posts
    368
    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?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    31,864
    Andy - pm atrain and get the number or email of the guys they've been flying with in Whistler or Pemberton.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alpine Meadows, CA
    Posts
    4,474
    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.
    -snowsprite

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Electric Larry Land
    Posts
    5,333
    Quote Originally Posted by SitSki13 View Post
    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?
    I know you're thinking Chugach Range and helis.....but how about this twist:

    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: sheldonair@mtaonline.net 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: info-ak@evergreenhelicopters.com. 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!!!:

    http://www.alaskajourney.com/appendix/air.html

    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."

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/AK/Los Andes
    Posts
    2,679
    Quote Originally Posted by SitSki13 View Post
    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?
    Did you check with tedshred/ Alaska heliskiing? SEABA also runs in Haines but Ive got no experience with them. There is also alot more companies in Valdez than the ones you listed above. Ill talk to some of my contacts up there and see if I can find anything for you.

    The reality of it really is...how much money are you willing/able to fork out?
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    JH/AK/Los Andes
    Posts
    2,679
    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 orion@alaskaheliskiing.com

    Tell em Aaron from guide school last year sent ya.
    "The idea wasnt for me, that I would be the only one that would ever do this. My idea was that everybody should be doing this. At the time nobody was, but this was something thats too much fun to pass up." -Briggs
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Wear your climbing harness. Attach a big anodized locker to your belay loop so its in prime position to hit your nuts. Double russian Ti icescrews on your side loops positioned for maximal anal rape when you sit down. Then everyone will know your radness
    More stoke, less shit.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Summer: US & UK, Winter: Canada
    Posts
    368
    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.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Down by the river, Terrace, BC
    Posts
    3,545
    FKNA!
    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.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

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