The annual pilgrimage to Alaska is underway and we made it to Haines last week. We arrived via Juneau to sunny skies and amazing vistas flying up the Lynn Canal as we approached Haines airport. Glaciers, mountains and seascapes fill the windows of the small plane as the natural beauty of Alaska surrounds you.
The first two weeks of the season our focus is on running the safety and logistics of the Freeride World Tour. Right off the bat we did a couple recon flights for possible venues. First we flew with Drake an amazing fixed wing pilot who has been flying skiers and climbers for years and shared some amazing stories and insights into the history and future of the area. The following day with specific destinations in mind we flew in the helicopter straight for the site we used for last years event: The Venue. Conditions looked perfect and we skied the side shot of the main face inspecting potential areas for athletes, judges and media.
The last few days have been focused on the set up of the event and gathering all the information that we need to get started. Weather forecasts need to be analyzed, snow stability needs to be assessed as well as all of the logistics for staging, tents, judges, athletes, etc the list goes on.
Our first 5 days in town presented us with blue skies, stable conditions and epic helicopter skiing. We were even treated to amazing northern lights snow. Last night the bib draw and welcome party for the Tour happened and as of today we are officially ready to go. The Freeride World Tour is within the waiting period for the event so keep checking back and hang on. It should happen the next couple days. - Tucker Patton