It happens to every passionate skier, every summer. At some point at the height of a July bbq, after a great trail run, or a super fun bike ride, reality strikes. You’re missing something. Snow.
With summer in full swing I’ve found myself here several times over, reflecting on the winter that was, and in making plans for next season. With a home base in the Sierra Nevada, this past year was one best accentuated with a few trips out-of-town. The San Juan’s in early November, New Hampshire in December, Mt. Baker and Canada in January-powder was chased and scored, but as expected it was the time spent with clients guiding at Points North Heli-Adventures (PNH) in Cordova, Alaska, and with Ice Axe Expeditions that were the most memorable.
In Alaska, I’m lucky enough to work for Kevin and Jessica Quinn, and a slew of some of the best ski guides on the planet. With my co-guide Jeff Dostie and tail guide Wesley Thompson, we’re fortunate to run the only ski touring program of its kind in the famed Chugach Mountains.
Each winter we set up “Tour Camp” and welcome groups of eight to experience Alaska through human power. With our Mountain Hardware Space Station holding down the fort , we were stoked to welcome amazing guests all season in 2014. Throw a few insane powder days in there with all the new terrain we established this year and it was certainly one for the record books at PNH Tour Camp.
After Tour Camp wrapped up it was just a few days rest before linking up with fellow Ice Axe Expeditions guides for a unique exploratory trip to Sisimuit, Greenland. We can’t wait to bring clients back in April 2015 as this, like all Ice Axe Expeditions trips, are once in a lifetime opportunities for the intrepid.
In Sisimuit, the local people live simple lives set amongst a spectacular backdrop of alpine beauty. World class skiing is just a short dog sled or snow machine ride way, but it’s the terrain in and around “Igloo Mountain” that sets this place apart.
In Greenland, opportunities to ski where no one has ever ventured before, in polar powder, and returning home to quaint huts with heat and delicious food was almost too good to be true. My partners and I saw infinite potential in the Igloo Mountain area and when coupled with the chance to ski from a boat near Itilleq-aka ‘Arctic Circle Village’-to the south, it’s hard for any ski trip to match the overall experience of skiing in this completely out there corner of the world.
After Greenland some fun road trips to ski classic descents in the lower 48 like Mt. Shasta, The Grand Teton, and the Cross Couloir of Mount of the Holy Cross were perfect adventures to bring the season to a close. Summer is a nice time to experience other seasonal activities in the Northern Hemisphere, but if you love snow as much as me you’re dreaming about next season too. In addition to Alaska and Greenland trips next year, I’m really looking forward to guiding in India for the Adventure Project, and there’ll hopefully be some more trips to seldom skied lines in the Carson Range, Lake Tahoe, NV next season as well. All outfits have space for folks to join. Enjoy the sun out there and keep dreaming of the white stuff. It’ll be here before you know it!