State of the Backcountry 2014: XI | Sponsored by Alpenglow Sports

State of the Backcountry 2014: XI | Sponsored by Alpenglow Sports

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State of the Backcountry 2014: XI | Sponsored by Alpenglow Sports

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In the Chugach, the light is often as magical as the snow.

In the Chugach, the light is often as magical as the snow.

It’s the beginning of spring and the 2014 Alaskan ski season is firing on all cylinders. In Cordova, the Points North Heli-Adventures Tour Camp is off and running having weathered just about every type of condition Mother Nature has to offer. We’ve had big winds, several large storms and several feet of new snow since the season kicked off earlier this month.

The crew skins their way to another run of AK bliss.

The crew skins their way to another run of AK bliss.

Ronan gets deep on the inaugural descent of "Red Hot Mamma".

Ronan gets deep on the inaugural descent of “Red Hot Mamma”.

Stormed in for the majority of the early season, my co-guide Jeff Dostie and I welcomed a great group of clients this past week where a little bit of wind and little bit of new snow took a back seat to high pressure. With bluebird skies and world class Chugach terrain caked from recent storms, the skiing has been nothing short of extraordinary.

With snow skiing well on all aspects, more than a few quality tracks and turns were set close to home this past week.

With snow skiing well on all aspects, more than a few quality tracks and turns were set close to home this past week.

Jason does his best Squaw Valley USA impression before sending a few huge high speed arcs back to camp.

Jason does his best Squaw Valley USA impression before sending a few high speed arcs back to camp.

Here Tomac enjoys a few powder turns down into Tour Camp.

Here Tomac enjoys a few powder turns down into Tour Camp.

Jason and J.P. joined us from Flagstaff, Arizona, while Madeline, Thomas, Ronan, Alexander, Paul and Tomac joined us from Switzerland. As the photos speak to, we were all fired up to be able to tour our zone on a daily basis during their stay, skiing pristine AK powder on all aspects, something we don’t always get.

Wes-Slay-Stomp-Son is at it again the season, shown in this photo breaking in the new run "Supergeil".

Wes-Slay-Stomp-Son is at it again this season, shown in this photo breaking in the new run “Supergeil”.

The boys and I watch as Madeline carves effortless turns down another new line for Tour Camp, "The Phish Bowl".

The boys and I watch as Madeline carves effortless turns down another new line for Tour Camp, “The Phish Bowl”.

The week started with the first blue skies in nearly 10 days as the whole crew was able to sample AK velvet powder laps accessed by a short skin from Tour Camp. After a brief wind/snow event the skies cleared leaving creamy powder on south and east aspects with colder blower snow found on west and north slopes. Everyday brought a new adventure and thousands of feet of high quality ski touring.

While a crew and I ascended "The Phish Bowl" for the first time, Jeff and another crew were busy across the valley on the second ascent/descent of "Tweezer" (those 4 little dots in the middle of the photo are the skiers).

While a crew and I ascended “The Phish Bowl” for the first time, Jeff and another crew were busy across the valley on the second ascent/descent of “Tweezer”.

There's no shortage of eye candy in the Chugach, especially an area like "Snaggle" as seen from the Tour Camp LZ.

There’s no shortage of eye candy in the Chugach, especially when gaping at an area like “Snaggle”, as seen from the Tour Camp LZ.

By the end of the week legs were sore and smiles were big. Over the course of the week we were able to ski a host of our classic runs as well as break in three new lines that we can’t wait to ski again. Conditions in the zone are holding and we’re getting ready for another week of guests from Colorado and the Bay Area with high pressure in the forecast. After a week like this past one, with such great visitors and stellar conditions, it reminds me of why when the Chugach is on, it’s arguably the best skiing and riding on the planet.  I look forward to sharing a report from Tour Camp next week, and hope wherever you are, you’re making the most of the start of the spring season in the mountains.

“State of the Backcountry” is sponsored by Alpenglow Sports. Established in 1979, Alpenglow Sports is Tahoe City’s original mountain shop. Specializing in Backcountry and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, trail running, backpacking, hiking, camping, and the mountain lifestyle apparel, Alpenglow is always psyched to offer premier user-based customer service. alpenglow-sports1You can check out more “State of the Backcountry” reports through FacebookInstagram and its websitefinal_logo111

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Previous “State of the Backcountry” Reports from the 2013-2014 season:

Edition I

Edition II

Edition III

Edition IV

Edition V-WA/BC

Edition VI

Edition VII

Edition VIII

Edition IX-Eastside

Edition X

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