Sunday, April 25, 2010

Alyeska Resort in April

The gorgeous view of Cook Inlet from Alyeska. In my opinion it's one of the best views if not THE best of any ski resort in the world. You've got the ocean (and in this picture it is at low tide) at one side of the valley, a resort at another, and the remaining area is surrounded by beautiful mountains and glaciers.

Being a sponsored athlete of my hometown resort, Alyeska, I was given the opportunity to head up to Alaska and get in the last throws of winter once I returned from France. I was pretty excited about this, Alyeska was on its way to breaking 800 inches of snowfall. In the beginning the weather was full of precipiation- snow on top and rain on the bottom. Something to be expected in April when the temps start to warm up, the base of the resort is at sea level after all. Nonetheless, as long as it was snowing up high the rain wasn't much of a factor. After a week the sun finally broke and I was able to work with local photographer, Simon Evans, to do some photos for Alyeska. Fortunately, the Resort was really helpful and willing to cater to our needs- access to closed terrain where we wouldn't be competing with the crowds. This ended up with us hiking up Center Ridge and dropping back into Glacier Bowl, thus skiing terrain that hasn't been open for at least the last 3 years. So lucky! It was sooo steep and the snow was sooo good, those few runs were definitely the highlight of my trip up north. Ohhh Alaska. The BEST place on earth to ski.

Scott Hillard, one of the Alyeska patrollers who assisted us while shooting, getting in a fun run after us. What a great job to have! And lots of thanks to the Alyeska Patrol!!!

The top of Chair 6

Christmas Chute and the North Face are right behind me

Cody is all smiles for plenty of reasons. He decided to stick around and get in some more great skiing after his film trip with MSP was over, which apparently was THE film trip of his life. Can't wait to see his segment with Henrik in next year's movie!

Alyeska's annual Slush Cup - with the sun comes the crowds!

Someone taking a digger. This particular pond crossing is 3/4ths gapers so it makes for a great show!

So many good reasons to bring out the cheesiness!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Day in Annecy

At the end of my month long adventure in Switzerland and France I left the mountains to spend my last day in the beautiful city of Annecy. I love it when I have the opportunity to take a day in my travels abroad to experience a bit of culture. Annecy has all the touches to make it an ideal place for a tourist to visit: a charming, old part of town strewn with cobblestone streets, beguiling rivers flowing throughout, a mesmerizing lake nestled right between the city and mountains, and great French Savoie food to tease your palate with. Here are a few images from my enchanting day...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April in Les Arcs with Garchois Productions

Mont Blanc as seen from Les Arcs

After the Verbier Xtreme I headed to Les Arcs, France to meet up with Garchois Productions to film. I had not skied in France yet this year, so I was eagerly anticipating these past few weeks. Additionally, I had never skied at Les Arcs Paradiski. I always find it amusing when a hotel or resort claims to be a slice of heaven, but this place really lives up to its self-proclamation. There is SO much terrain around Les Arcs, and I feel a bit guiltly talking about it because the locals told me not to, but I can't help myself. This place rocks! It's SO huge and has SO much to offer. As a bonus, since I've arrived storm after storm has swept through and blanketed the mountains with heaps of fresh snow. It's one thing to ski at an area and only see the potential due to bad conditions, but it's a whole other ballgame when you get to step up to the plate and try it out yourself! I've been a kid in a candy store. And yep, I got in a helicopter a few times as well, which is actually illegal in France. Heli-skiing is forbidden. Even though we were not flying to peaks outside of the resort, we were doing something that isn't the norm. So yeah, this trip is going pretty good. And to think I've got almost another week left...

Thibault Jurie Des Camiers getting in a little cornice action

An adult toy that is so much fun to play with

Herve Gouy standing atop his line

Standing in front of Aguille Rouge

I love this vision: only my tracks down a huge face, and only 1000+ more meters of untracked pow ahead of me...

Thibaud Duchosal setting off a little slough

Thibaud finishing off his line with some airtime

A nice view of a gigantic snowflake