Sitting in the Utah heat in August I can safely say that I’m content. Of course I would like to be in perfect boot high pow shredding down some epic descent in Alaska. But I’m not, I’m just sweating and watching my lawn turn brown because I don’t want to water it. I’m mostly content because of my memories, looking at my photos and knowing that I’ll get another chance at similar moments in the future. It unrealistic to be out skiing every day. But I can still think about it and fantasize about it every day. Cody Townsend and Mark Abma do a little bit better than just about everybody else at making those fantasies into reality. Both are seemingly obsessed with finding those perfect conditions. Weather its Japan, British Colombia, Tahoe or anywhere in between-Any time I talk to them they are either talking about how good it is where they are or en route to find where its good. I was lucky enough to catch up with them on part of their Alaska tour-the culmination of winter. Abma had converted his truck into Biodiesel that winter. The two of them loaded it up with all the ski gear they had, snowmobiles and 500 gallons of bio-diesel in a trailer and made the three day drive from Pemberton BC to Haines Alaska.
2084 Kilometers one way from Pemberton to Haines (since there was a Canadan driving) Cody came from Squaw Valley
Gas stations where anywhere they wanted to stop, usually with an inspiring view
Abma didn’t really know that much about his truck past the basics. By the end with the help of a few new friends on the way he was figuring it all out.
The first stop was Pleasant Camp which is just on the Candian side of Haines Alaska. A cabin and helicopter were waiting out in the middle of knowhere. After the first heli flight it was clear to everybody that this was not the spot to be. High winds and light snow combined to make a horrible snowpack with mostly unskiable terrain. A last minute desicion was made to pack it all up and drive to Girdwood.
The camp was awesome, no cell service, internet-just a wood stove and a few bunk beds. Even with bad skiing it was still a great break from the real world. Next time….
And the views weren’t bad for the few nights we were there.
Although it was awesome hanging out and drinking beer, we were searching for those perfect turns. The Girdwood choice was a good one-as you can see Cody was pretty stoked on the extra driving..
After this Abma was talking about how excited he was drive again next season
We had a good run of sunny afternoons and some epic storm days skiing Alyeska. Really, its a perfect setup having an amazing resort next to you. Alyeska has some great tree skiing when its storming and the North Face has a perfect consistent 2500 foot run that keeps your legs ready for when it breaks sunny.
Still, these are the mountains that your thinking about while skiing the resort
After some storm days it was time to get ready again and go try make some fantasy lines become bar stories.
Where’s Waldo, look hard for Cody going HUGE
Abma dropping in
And sending it
Abma jumping the berg-schrund
It was a great session for the crew. You will be able to check out the footage in MSP’s 20th anniversary movie this Fall.
Thanks To Alyeska, Chugach Powder Guides, Clark Fyans, MSP and Biodiesel!
Mark and Cody continued their journey to the Tordrillo mountain after a nice warm-up in Girdwood…