Points North Heli-Adventures, Cordova, Alaska: Trip Report

Points North Heli-Adventures, Cordova, Alaska: Trip Report

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Points North Heli-Adventures, Cordova, Alaska: Trip Report

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            The helis sat idol wrapped in their custom blankets like prized thoroughbreds.  We sat idol, staring at the rain.  We honed our skills in foosball and ping-pong, watched classic ski movies, read many books, took many naps and drank a ton of beer.   Everyone was fired up to rip the Chugach Mountains but that really never happened.

 

            The GNAR game was taken to Points North Heli-Adventures in Cordova, Alaska.  We had a list of additional Alaskan extra credit points and penalties to further play GNAR in the big mountains of the Chugach.  We had ten or so of the most ripping skiers in the country and several cameramen ready to slay.  

 

            Everyone stayed very positive and optimistic but the weather never really cooperated.  It stormed a few days then the sun came out at our base but the mountains remained socked in the clouds.  Everyone was so fired up to ski.  The energy of the group was like a powder keg, ready to explode with the tiniest spark.  It was very frustrating to stare out the window at the helis, knowing that we couldn’t get out there.  Most of us have been waiting for this moment for years and years.  So close, yet so far. 

 

 On Friday two groups got to go out for two runs, but the light was so flat we were unable to film.  By the time we jumped in the helicopter after our second run, the clouds and snow rolled back in.

 

            I was really psyched to have the opportunity to take my two runs.  The snow was over five feet deep, cold and light.  The first run was about 2,500 vertical feet on a glacier, a mellow powder run, but still extremely exciting.   The second run was on a 50-degree vertical face called “Donkey Kong”.    I was first to ski this and it was really, really steep with tons of snow.  This definitely got my heart racing and was what I imagined an Alaskan heli-ski run would be like.  It sloughed all around but I made it down with out incident.  I should have milked it more because it was my second and last run, oh well. 

 

            Points North Heli-Adventures is a one of a kind, truly amazing place, with world-class guides and some of the best skiing on the planet.  Those two runs were some of the most epic of my life and I will be thinking about it all summer and until next time I can get back there! 

 

            A huge thanks to Kevin and Jessica Quinn, Kipper, Al-zee, J-Mack, Will, Tucker, all the rest of the guides, all the kitchen staff, the pilots, and everyone up there!!  P.S. Sorry about the foosball table, hope I didn’t damage it. 

 

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Arrival at the Cordova Mudhole Airport 100_0681

These are like seagulls in Alaska

100_0682 View from our hotel the first night, The Reluctant Fisherman

100_0685 GNAR competitors 100_0695 Dowtown Cordova, the commercial fishing fleet. The weather is perfect! 100_0698 John Lange, The fisherman's memorial, Mt. Eyak (the local ski hill).  Note: Mt. Eyak has one single chair, we were told that it is Sun Valley's original single chair, which makes it one of the oldest lifts in the country.

100_0710 Spencer Cordovano in Cordova 100_0715 Me on the docks in Cordova 100_0720 View from the PNH base, the clouds are moving in. 100_0726 The departing group got to ski that day. 100_0735 What some of the guides do for fun, hitch a ride and BASE jump!

100_0736 That was our groups guide in the yellow, Kip Garre, he's the man!

 

100_0771 So the weather turned and we went fishing. The Copper River 100_0774 I caught 3 Dolly Vardens, nice fish. No salmon or steelhead running yet. 100_0778 Frustration, the weather cleared but these clouds just hung there in the "zone".  You can't fly helicopters in that, ugg.

100_0784 So the several strait days of not skiing, things started to get weird 100_0790 This is our new friend Juan. He convinced us to play beer olympics.  Needless to say, things got crazy. 

More pics to come…..

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