By Erik Leidecker Throughout my heli-ski guiding career, I’ve had a few opportunities to work with film, video and still photography production teams. My responsibilities usually include snow stability evaluation, assistance in run selection and emergency back-up.
First Ascent junior ski team member, Lexi DuPont, joined the rest of the team in Haines, Alaska, for a couple bluebird days of spine skiing. Check out her run down Light Meter “the sickest, most epic run of my entire life” says Dupont.
What does the First Ascent ski guide team do when the heli’s grounded in Alaska? They hit the icy waters and the sleds for a different kind of adventure.
The weather finally presents ideal snow conditions, allowing Reggie Crist and the rest of the First Ascent ski guides to log some heli time on the peaks near Haines. Transitioning from ski guide to freeskiing athlete for the day, Reggie descends spines he’s been eyeing for more than a decade.
By Erik Leidecker Alaska backcountry pilot, Drake Olson, waits for a lull in the wind and then guns the throttle. His plane, a highly modified Cessna 180 equipped with skis for snow landings, lifts off. circles around and heads back towards the tiny airport in Haines, Alaska.
By Reggie Crist Following eight days and more than 10 feet of new snow, the skies finally parted for our first “bluebird” day in Haines. The early morning pink light instantly generates enough ambient heat to evaporate the remaining layer of low-lying clouds.
Last week Neil Fiske, Eddie Bauer CEO, flew up to Alaska to check in with First Ascent ski guides Reggie and Zach Crist, hard at work finalizing the new FA ski gear.