Last Updated: December 2, 2022


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| Featured Trip Report |

March 2012

Heli-skiing is like nothing else - the highest highs, the lowest lows. Literally. As you can imagine, the Chugach has some killer pow and terrain, but also the potential for long bouts of crap weather which will ground the heli while you sit about watching your precious vacation days pass you by. Alaska Backcountry Adventures (ABA) did their best to make the most of any weather windows (aka "sucker-holes") that occurred, even to the extent of squeezing in one quick run at 6pm like they did on our final day (only run of the day). Funny story really, we were five minutes from sticking the keys in the ignition for the five-hour drive back to Anchorage, when suddenly... "The pilot's here, we're flyin'!!" Talk about a Chinese fire drill! To add insult to injury, five of our party of nine elected to extend their stay by a couple days and as fate would have it the weather broke. Ain't that typical?

Long story short - although we found the 'down day activities' and 'self-serve BBQ lunch' promised by ABA to be curiously absent; the staff and guides did what they could make us feel welcome and to ensure that we enjoyed our time skiing/boarding at Thompson Pass. Owner Dave "Happy" always managed to put a positive spin on the rather ambiguous weather forecasts and gave us hope that the weather would "pop". Who could forget our ex-military pilot Frank with his ass-kicking attitude and his roller coaster flying antics? A certain knife-edge ridge landing with skids hanging off either side comes to mind. The wind was really beginning to whip, and being second-to-last to disembark I could have sworn that Frank was sweating it just trying to keep the heli in position. And finally, we all took exception to 'Badger's seemingly harsh warning - "...there's nothing but death for you there", referring to the rear heli rotor during our initial orientation, but hey...this is Alaska after all! (more...)
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2022 |