After weathering an 11 foot storm early in the season, the last disturbance to effect our camp dropped another 4 feet. When all was said and done the cumulative snow total for our season was 236 inches. Technically the snow fell from 3/22-4/11, which is more like three weeks as opposed to our season that runs for four. Keeping camp shoveled during this last blast was tough, but as soon as our Week 4 guests arrived we headed right out for a tour. In the above shot, Lake Tahoe local Rob McCormick shoves off for another lap.
Our last week in the field was cut short by the weather, but we worked with what we could and made the most of it. Initially the snow was just as perfect as it had been all season, but due to heavy winds that came in at the end of the last storm, avalanche conditions were touchy enough to keep us on low-angle terrain. Thankfully the snow quality was so good you could get it to fly if you dug in, or you could just effortlessly float with any amount of speed desired. In the above shot, Maura Mack lays it down.
It’s a tough pill to swallow when the weather influences your ski plans, but such is the name of the game when skiing in Alaska. We still scored some amazing turns our last week with another great group of clients. As a crew, between Jeff Dostie, Wesley Thompson and myself, we couldn’t be happier with our season. We dealt with an exceptional amount of precipitation, welcomed four solid weeks of new guests, and skied some of the best lines of our lives.
This was one of the last action shots I took during our stint at Tour Camp. It’s a truly unique way to see the Chugach, under human power, and sometimes after skiing powder all day a tour home as the sunset goes off is almost as good as the skiing. Especially in April, as the daylight hours grow, the sunsets take on a whole new feeling out there. They last longer, the shadows cast stark contrast, and the colors are more vibrant. It’s an amazing place for any skier or rider to spend a little time in the mountains.
My co-guide Jeff Dostie is left, camp manager Wesley Thompson is center, and I’m on the right. We’re incredibly thankful to the guests that made it out to camp this year, and of course the pilots, guides and rest of the PNH crew that makes Tour Camp a possibility. Of course I’m subjective, but having had the fortune to ski across the world this really is the trip of a lifetime if you’re one of those funky backcountry users that enjoy camping and ski touring.
If you’re interested in learning more about our program in the Chugach don’t hesitate to drop me or PNH a line. You can learn more about our program here. Thanks for checking out the series, I hope you enjoyed the stories, and I hope to see you in Alaska next season!Google+