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11/23/17, 06:11 PM

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| | |-+  March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
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Author Topic: March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day  (Read 2397 times)
Scotsman
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March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
« on: 03/26/17, 11:02 PM »

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.



« Last Edit: 03/26/17, 11:25 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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Scotsman
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Re: March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
« Reply #1 on: 03/27/17, 10:46 AM »

photos


* Sugareastright.jpg (103.81 KB, 599x800 - viewed 345 times.)

* Whatswhat2.jpg (78.54 KB, 600x800 - viewed 392 times.)

* whoomp.jpg (82.61 KB, 600x800 - viewed 398 times.)
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Chief Etiquette Officer of TAY and TAY's #1 Poster
Poet Laureate of TAY.
Chairman and Founder of FOTAY( Friends of TAY)
Moderator of the moderators.
"Most Brilliant Move" of the 11/12 ski season
" Knows what he is talking about"
Expert Typist.
Crystal Whore
" Scotsman may be correct"....Mikerolfs
pipedream
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Re: March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
« Reply #2 on: 03/27/17, 01:22 PM »

What's with all the turning? Lmk if you ever need some single-plankers to help fill the bird and keep lines fresh for spooning with their powder 1s Cheesy

Nice report, sufficient amount of pictures. Glad to hear your adventures in AK were at the very least, okay
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Moral of story is don't ski when you can snowboard
ddk
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Re: March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
« Reply #3 on: 03/27/17, 03:06 PM »

YES! Wink
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
« Reply #4 on: 03/27/17, 08:10 PM »

Nice!
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filbo
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Re: March 26 th, Another Haines Heli-day
« Reply #5 on: 03/28/17, 08:01 AM »

Nice writing Scotsman, real, honest, and true.   Not many people these days write about the brave aspect of deep powder skiing when one is out in the mountains away from the resort.   We don't think about it much, safety seems to be the big topic and yet jumping out of a helicopter to ski steep walls of white on  faces with untold volumes of snow above requires some aspect of that revered character trait.   It is the same for those who climb and tour to ski.   I know we rarely think of ourselves as brave in the circumstance of pursuing this life style, but it is true and it has a goodness to it in the fact that one faces the dangers and risks involved and often looks death in the face if performance is not cool, calculated, proficient, and experienced and all done without the use of violence, there is no killing of some wild beast or the acts of combat in war, it is on a level of its own, a higher one in my mind and as equal yet rarely talked about.
Your post gave me thought to add this as it is relevant to a novella I am writing and I have touched on the many aspects of the powder experience so far and thinking about Hemmingway and his subjects for fiction gave me pause to consider mine.   Great tr and photos, thanks for sharing.
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