State of the Backcountry 2015: X| Sponsored by Alpenglow Sports

State of the Backcountry 2015: X| Sponsored by Alpenglow Sports

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State of the Backcountry 2015: X| Sponsored by Alpenglow Sports

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The crew scoping out lines on our first trip to Danno's this past week.

The crew scoping out lines on our first trip to Danno’s this past week.

Bluebird skies, two feet of new snow, stable spines and a high quality group of clients- what a week at Points North Heli (PNH) Tour Camp! It’s always special when a group of eight books out a week with us, and this time around was no different. After bidding our film crew and guests good-bye coming off a whirlwind two-weeks in the field, Jeff, Wes and I were able to get back to our normal routine this past week sharing a memorable string of days ski touring in the Chugach with a group of clients that we wished could stick around for longer.

Skiing uphill is almost as good as going down.

Skiing uphill is almost as good as going down.

Good skiers with adventurous mentalities usually makes for a memorable week at Tour Camp, and Dave, Tim, Paul, Dave, Chip, Ken, Rob and Luke shared those attributes in spades. The crew jumped right on it as soon as the heli’s landed to start the week with multiple laps of pristine powder to greet their first day at Tour Camp. With clear weather, stability, and such a solid group the next two days looked prime. Jeff and I wasted no time with this crew as we headed right out to our favorite place to take competent groups.

Finding new lines is always a gift at Tour Camp. This as of now unnamed line was short, steep and fast with a fun factor of five.

Finding new lines is always a gift at Tour Camp. This unnamed line was short, steep and fast with a fun factor of five.

Danno’s is the kind of terrain that keeps you up at night. The steep spine wall is viewed perfectly from our LZ (helicopter landing zone) at camp. It holds the kind of lines that people from all over the world travel to Alaska in hopes to ski. The coolest thing about Danno’s for us at Tour Camp is we get to ski it using our own two feet. Taking the time to pick out lines from the LZ, again on the approach, then finally as you skin up the side of the looker’s left face is priceless. Thankfully, our crew from week three agreed and as a result, we collectively shared in two days that we’ll all remember for years to come.

Luke and Rob and fired up to be standing on a new peak with a view that stretched from the heart of the Chugach to the ocean.

Luke and Rob and fired up to be standing on a new peak with a view that stretched from the heart of the Chugach all the way to to the ocean.

Beyond the spines of Danno’s there are a ton of other ways to experience this slice of Chugach heaven. Chutes, couloirs and powder caked bowls fill every vantage. If you’re good to go for a few thousand feet of skinning, it just doesn’t get much better. That said, after two big days touring to this portion of our local zone people are usually hoping for a break. This time around we didn’t really have to decide what to do as Mother Nature gave us a natural break by way of a multi-day storm that dropped two feet of new snow on camp.

Skinning up the side of Danno's for another lap.

Skinning up the side of Danno’s for another lap.

The storm allowed our guests to get a little bit of everything during their stay. We skied the spines of Danno’s, got stormed on for a few days, and even broke in a couple of new lines. With visibility and stability questionable at best during the storm, we inched out from camp during sporadic windows and found some of the deepest face shots imaginable. With Chefstie cranking out the best camp food in the Chugach, it was one of those weeks that are unforgettable for Tour Camp.

I love powder skiing as much as the next ski bum, and getting walled in a couloir is tough to beat. But it's a POV like this that reminds me there's quite like skiing Chugach spine lines.

I love powder skiing as much as the next ski bum, and getting walled in a couloir is tough to beat. But it’s a POV like this that reminds me there’s nothing like skiing Chugach spine lines in prime conditions.

"If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?" Scot Schmidt is an acceptable choice, but if you were really looking to ramp it up, a Jeff Dostie is the only real answer.

“If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?” Scot Schmidt is a good choice, but if you were really looking to ramp it up, a Jeff Dostie is the only acceptable answer.

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.

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