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03/27/17, 05:27 AM

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 1   Hot Air / Lift-accessed Skiing Reports: non-backcountry / March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day  on: Yesterday at 11:02:12 PM 
Started by Scotsman | Last post by Scotsman
I was only intending to heli-ski one day but in the bar last night, Ben the owner of SEABA comes over."You want to ski tomorrow, I can get you a seat ?". Ben's a drug dealer and his drug is 25,000 VF of cold Chilkat powder in one of the most magnificent mountain ranges on the planet.

You cast a glance at your wife. She raises and eyebrow and then smiles and you hand over your credit card and pay up.
There's a pang of guilt but it doesn't last long because you know you're hooked and you need this. We work our entire lives and these moments are not frivolous , they have lasting meaning.

I go  to bed hoping the weather holds and it does and I make my way to the airport to hook up with my crew.  Our guide is Austin, big and strong like an ox. He's a WA guy, owns Cascade powder Cats and guides on Rainier in the summer. Whose my crew?.  The Swiss couple, she's a boarder and beautiful to look at and an incredible rider, he's a Swiss Mountain guide . The third is Luke from Saskatchewan whose entire business is repairing hail damaged cars for 9 months of the year and then he skis for  three months.
They are all in their late 30's and have big skis and resort boots and bindings. I'm the oldest by far and I'm on Dynafits.  You are always worried that you will be able to keep up. There are no beginners or intermediates here. They are armed for bear and expect you to know your shit.

Seven glorious runs in wonderful conditions, the last as usual being the best. There is always some drama. On a run called " Why Not" a skier from another group falls and loses a ski. Just as they are about to send the heli back to pick up a spare set , Austin our guide finds it.  One of our group, Luke had fallen the day before and lost a ski in Sugar East during the last run of their day. They didn't find it so he skied to the heli on one ski. Austin decides we need to ski Sugar East as as our last run of the day. He heads down first and after some probing he finds it. Luke is incredulous.

It's my turn to go first and Austin radios me to go right and open up a new slope. It's the most incredible run of my life so far. Steep, cold blower pow, un-tracked. I'm shouting to myself as I ski down.

In the bar, bonding has been accomplished. You trade life stories and photos and addresses. I invite Luke to ski in Washington any time he wants. My wife is happy that I am happy. I don't think this is frivolous..it has meaning.




 2   Hot Air / Lift-accessed Skiing Reports: non-backcountry / March 26, 2017 Schweitzer  on: Yesterday at 08:32:25 PM 
Started by Zap | Last post by Zap
This is the beginning of our 3rd ski trip this season. The idea is to head east and then go to Canada. The Schweitzer area received 7” in the past 24 hours, so some of it should be packed powder. We used our Powder Alliance passes which worked because it is a Sunday (can't use on Saturdays). It is 9 miles from Sandpoint, ID, so our parking place was relatively warm and we could see the ski area. The top half of the ski resort was in the clouds, BUT it would clear.  That is what the workers “SAID”. Jill spoke with a ski instructor from Crystal, and he (along with ski instructors from all over the NW) was there for PSIA instructor testing. The Basin Express terrain was 80% cloud-free, and crowded with kids' lessons and part of the ski instructors’ classes/testing. The next lift we rode was the Great Escape n the ridge to the Stella 6 pack. Two ski Ambassadors at the top of the lift pointed into the cloud band and said it should be clear there, i.e. at Stella. The top half of that was in the clouds, so we skied down . After 400vf, it cleared and we began the “fun trails” – numerous groomers with packed powder except for the last 100 feet which was yesterday's corn that froze overnight. After 2 hours the lower half became creamy spring powder. We rode the Snow Ghost double for our last ride to the ridge. We have not been here in 5 years and I had forgotten all the great terrain of steep slopes, meandering trails through the trees,  and treed areas that are everywhere. We like this place. The location is very similar to Big White in British Columbia. These 2 areas are both located close to a major lake with Lake Pend Oreille near Schweitzer and Okanagan Lake near Big White, which is why they both can have a lot fog &/or clouds. Fun fact to know.

 3   Hot Air / Lift-accessed Skiing Reports: non-backcountry / Re: Padded Seat Update 16/17  on: Yesterday at 08:13:10 PM 
Started by flowing alpy | Last post by pipedream
Ride on, ride off c2 all afternoon
Snow began falling in earnest after 2, telemetry showing 6" new
Everything open, snowing hard at the end of the day
Hard to be upset, even when the chairs will sit dormant until Thurs.

 4   Hot Air / Lift-accessed Skiing Reports: non-backcountry / Re: Crystal - 03/26  on: Yesterday at 07:19:31 PM 
Started by ddk | Last post by eskinmo
There was a moment in this awesome day that I noticed something had changed,but I wasn't sure what it was that happened.It had become "wetterish".Wikipedia describes "wetterish", as brain injury that can happen when you smoke too much PCP.Whatever it is that cure lies in the lesser skied areas...the lesser the better.....It won't take much tonight to make this place ,blow your mind tomorrow....you know like if you want to blow your mind....and get totally wetterish

 5   2017 Backcountry Trip Reports / March 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports / Re: March 26, 2017, Cordova, AK Tour Camp  on: Yesterday at 07:11:32 PM 
Started by cascademystic | Last post by glenn_b
Wow!  Well played.  Love the aurora pic!

 6   Hot Air / Lift-accessed Skiing Reports: non-backcountry / Re: March 24, Haines Heli day  on: Yesterday at 07:07:38 PM 
Started by Scotsman | Last post by eskinmo
Holy S*-T....pictures look huge....killing it

 7   2017 Backcountry Trip Reports / March 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports / Re: March 26, 2017, Cordova, AK Tour Camp  on: Yesterday at 07:03:14 PM 
Started by cascademystic | Last post by rlsg
Looks great..hows the food and shelter?

 8   2017 Backcountry Trip Reports / March 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports / March 26, 2017, Cordova, AK Tour Camp  on: Yesterday at 05:14:55 PM 
Started by cascademystic | Last post by cascademystic
Fantastic week in the Chugach. Multiple options for skiing and adventure, great guides and food. Propane heat in the tents was nice for drying out gear. We skied powder every day until 8-9pm, while the helis flew 2-3 days last week due to weather.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSHnmQflHyQ/?taken-by=cascademystic
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSFQWiPFR8m/?taken-by=cascademystic
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSEmzfYFnlF/?taken-by=cascademystic

http://www.alaskaheliski.com/packages/heli-access-touring/#tab-2-2
http://stateofthebackcountry.com/

 9   Hot Air / Lift-accessed Skiing Reports: non-backcountry / Re: Padded Seat Update 16/17  on: Yesterday at 03:53:24 PM 
Started by flowing alpy | Last post by flowing alpy
Saw A Hard Snow Day

 10   Hot Air / Planned Trips: research questions / Re: Sun Valley BC Question 3/9/11  on: Yesterday at 03:04:56 PM 
Started by avajane | Last post by pabloson
There are some nice lower altitude runs to be had in the Elk Run (?) neighborhood.  Good tree skiing or bowls.  No trespassing problems if you poke around a bit and look for the main skin tracks.    Shoot me a PM if you need more details.

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