Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Springtime @ Squaw
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 16
However, we were able to squeeze in one more quick, awesome adventure by going up for a little tourist-style, sightseeing plane ride. Our pilot Drake took us over the north end of Glacier Bay and out to 15,325 ft. Mount Fairweather at the edge of the Alaskan panhandle and British Columbia. The views were amazing even though there was a little haze in the sky. It certainly gave you a bird’s eye perspective of all the terrain around Haines, Alaska. Drake not only gives tours in the summer for people wanting to see Glacier Bay from above, but he also services skiers and snowboarders looking for terrain beyond the zones where the heli can take you. And for the really hearty? Every spring he has a few groups looking for overnight and extended, multi-day glacier trips deep in the backcountry of southeast Alaska. Quite coincidentally he had actually just dropped one off a few days ago that included guys from Tahoe. Maybe next year we’ll throw that into the mix as well…
Ski Base Mission Day 1
Here is a shot of our first day on our ski base mission. we just built the jump and bailed off the cliff without skis as to make it down to the valley before the fog bank that was coming fast! the shot is of me espen and Tom erik.
today was even more interesting, guys going off with vintage Norwegian sleds, snow racers (kid trikes with skis) and of course skis. winds were bad, winds were good, played a little game of spot the gust here and had another long day in the mountains that made the beer taste great.
signing off for now.
regards and thanks all for the support, the ski base stuff we are and will be capturing will be sweet! we have a first decent in mind off of the trollstigen and some more silliness for gridset cliff. I feel i need to spend some more time in the winter moths here to take down some of the insane big mountain lines that are staring at us. big big rad lines ending with and without big parachutable cliffs. this place RULES.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 15/16
About 3:30am, though, I happened to roll over and open my eyes……and my ears. Damn it if Sunny and the crew weren’t still raging upstairs. With a fresh nap under my belt now, I went back in for round two. They had dwindled to about a dozen or so, but they were going strong with DJ Tom Wayes blaring the Metallica and Crüe and G’nR. Even the resident Alaskan Malamute “Darwin” joined in the action….albeit to vacuum up any crab remains that fell off the table!
With each day adding like 5 minutes or something crazy right now, even in the two weeks that we’ve been here it’s pretty darn noticeable. By about 5am it was starting to lighten up so I went and took a couple of cool pics. The shot that I got later back up in the bar with the full-blown sunrise is priceless.
Only in Haines….
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 15
But that’s getting ahead of myself.
So we woke up for what was hopefully going to be the 4th day of heli only to find a nasty layer of milky blah hanging over us. We decided to commander the infamous Haines, AK Sundowner that’s been in several ski and snowboard movies and go crabbin’ ‘n shootin’. Unfortunately – or fortunately however you wanna look at it (who really cares when you’re in heaven since you can wake up and do it all over again like Groundhog Day) – we were having such a good time cruising the Lynn Canal looking at the glassy ocean and awesome views and sea lions, and crabs, crabs, crabs, we missed out on one last gasp of either heli or snowmobiling. In hindsight we shouldn’t have sent the pilot and the bird on its way for the season, but at several “G” a day and with several film crews pulling the plug and the rapid warm up and snow deterriation, we had to make that decision in the morning before getting on the boat.
All told, we pulled 44 crabs out of a half of a dozen pots or so. After setting some new pots and doing a little fishing, we emptied our pockets of all the shells we had accumulated in Haines the last two weeks. We then pulled back into the harbor for some very dramatic photo opportunities. Unlike Gilligan’s Island, our three-hour tour ended with us back at the Fort Seward Lodge, Restaurant & Saloon to enjoy the fruits of our labor. And what a slugfest that turned out to be.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Porters Team Riders Invited to SuperPark 12!
alongside Danny Kass, Kale Stephens, Torstein Horgmo, Jack Mitrani, Keir
Dillon, Austin Smith, Jordan Mendenhall, Lucas Magoon, Scotty Arnold, Pat
Moore, Peter Line, Eddie Wall, Dustin Craven, Jonas Carlson, Jamie Anderson,
Peetu Pirioinenen, Scotty Lago, Tim Humphreys, Robbie Walker, Andrew
Hardingham, LNP, MFR and many more including a few surprise riding guests.
Sounds like it's going to be a good time and I wish our boys the best of luck!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled & Guns & Crab Lovefest 2008 - Day 14 or a "fortnight" for my Brits...
Yep. It’s Heaven alright.
If you ever have the chance to spend an open-ended stay – or at least 10 days – at the Fort Seward Lodge & Saloon with “Sunny” and Kim from Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventures (SEABA – www.skiseaba.com ), follow Nike’s lead and “Just Do It.”
I should type like 4 pages worth but I just don’t have it in me. Today was as bluebird as it gets, as warm and sunny as it gets, and well, just as good as it gets out there in the Back 40 of Haines, AK.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 13
Be on the lookout for tomorrow’s post as I finally got my V.I.O. helmet cam situation straightened out and am planning on going out with it today….
And happy April 20th for those counting!
OK, so I am not in AK like Chappy, making fresh heli turns and shooting guns, but I was out snowmobiling and snowboarding in the backcountry of the Tahoe National Forest and it is amazing. It is like a snowboard playground! All sorts of natural features, like this wave off of a buried in the snow fishing cabin. Surf's up on the K2 Va Va Voom. I don't even need a snowboard park any more or resort for that matter. I would tell you where we were but then I would have to kill you. F@*$K a pass I need gas!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 12 Bluebird Heli & Mohawks
Not only did we finally get some heli time with our awesome SEABA crew led by Scott “Sunny” Sundberg, but we definitely put a nice cherry on top with our late evening fun.
So the Rage film crew did the dawn patrol mission – led again by Salomon’s Cody Townsend and Elyse Saugstad. We drove out to 18 Mile to the backyard heli landing pad about 9am and were up in the helicopter by 10am. After Sunny did a snow pit, we cautiously moved from zone to zone throughout the day. We did get one pretty good slab to break – about a 3 foot crown, 50 – 75 yards across, and a couple hundred yards long. Other than that bit of excitement in light of the other day’s full burial avalanche, the day went pretty well for the first time making turns in almost 2 weeks. We definitely eased into things with our runs yesterday, though, both in getting our legs back under us as well as with the avy conditions. It certainly made for some good Haines, AK Chamber of Commerce postcard views to say the least.
As a bonus member to Team Tahoe, our dear friend Billy Jacobs of the Jacobs’ family who used to own Spyder for years hopped on a plane full last-minute style to come join us. So he was waiting for us back in the bar at Fort Seward Lodge where we’re staying when we pulled back in. Way to throw down Billy…...(and thank you Stacey J for letting Triple B come play with us!!).
To really top it off? Why not give the handsome ringleader for the whole circus Dave “Sergeant” Gardner a mohawk???
Now we’re talking……
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 11
Not too stable let me tell you. A crew of kids from Utah went up in the bird later in the day and set off a major slide complete with a full 4:30 sec burial and dig out that was captured on helmet cam. It's the most amazing avy footage / rescue that I've ever seen. I don't think that they 've posted it anywhere yet, but be on the lookout. I'll surely have more to write about this later.
We set off a small but decent size slide ourselves out poking around on a wind-loaded slab up on Old Faithful where SEABA does their cat skiing. You should’ve seen how fast Daron Rahlves was zipping away from the zone on his sled as soon as he saw the slide start. That jet skiing background sure comes in handy!!
So not much else to report, other than it’s cold and deep and we’re really hoping that this high pressure that’s going to park itself over us will not only finally bring bluebird conditions but also kick out the competing low that was creating the tight pressure gradient and the dreaded wind. Everything is coming together for some pretty good conditions, so it looks like game on...
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled & Gun Lovefest 2008
No skiing, snowboarding, or even snowmobiling to speak of lately – it’s been that poopy and rainy. No wait, we actually did a “fire drill” yesterday and suited up – even to the point of driving to the airport fully locked ‘n loaded. The first group to go up included semi-permanent Tahoe residents and Salomon big mountain skiers Cody Townsend and Elyse Saugstad. Unfortunately they triggered a decent size slide and with visibility getting worse and the winds picking up ahead of the next wave of energy approaching the area the decision was made to pull the plug for any more heli that day.
So what next? Why not shoot some more? And better yet, why not buy a .44?
On another note, today should be the last down day. We might even get in an afternoon session if Mother Nature cooperates. If not, we’ll try to do some reconnaissance on the sleds and get ready for it being on starting Friday….
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Catchin Up with Tim Windell
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Day 8 Drinking 'n Shootin'
So not much on the snow front to report other than that it’s going to be good if we get this much-talked about window that’s supposed to start opening up by Thursday and get good over the coming weekend. Today may or may not bring a recon fly mission, but I think it’s going to be another snowmobiling day. Either way I wouldn’t trade locals right now for the world as the sledding is sick and the heli will be awesome when she pops. In the meantime the Tahoe contingent keeps rolling on and having fun wherever it goes and whatever mischief it gets into (except for Jeff McKitterick…who is making sure that he’s squeaky clean with no dirt on him….lol!!)
Monday, April 14, 2008
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Days 5 - 7 Sleddin 'n Drinkin
We’ve been snowmobiling two days now – Friday and Sunday – and it was a storm day on Saturday so it was an official “down day”. I should show you the pictures from the “ringing the bell” spectacle that went down Friday night at the Pioneer bar – when half the big mountain freeskiing community was in the bar – but I guess you have to remember to take them in the first place. Sorry ‘bout that. Seth Morrison’s bar tab alone could’ve been close to $1,000…
But I do have a few lazy Saturday afternoon shots at the Harbor Bar shooting pool with Michelle Parker and Daron Rahlves? Oh, and it was little Michelle’s 21st birthday last week so we did a belated birthday dinner.
Oh - one other quite random and interesting deal. Pro Snowmobiler and Red Bull athlete Ross Mercer is up here right now building huge booters in the backcountry.....and he's got the Red Bull snowcat and ramp. We ran into him in the middle of nowhere driving the cat. He's going to try a DOUBLE back flip on a sled.........@#%&*$!
Well here are some pics from the last couple of days…..
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Dinner with Chappy in Haines
Hey Y'all, Jeremy Benson reporting from Haines, AK. I've been here since the 2nd of April on my first stop of my month long tour of AK. Today was our first legit down day and we're looking forward to the sick pow that we'll be skiing after tomorrow. We've been fortunate enough to ski everyday up til now, three days in the heli and the rest of the time we've been hiking tough. Fortunately there is some really easy access right off the road just over the canadian border. Chappy just got to town and treated our crew to dinner which was nice after just chillin out all day long. Here's a pic from a few days ago lookin down some of the usual Haines style terrain. Hopefully there is much more where that came from, but only 18 more days to spend up here....
Chappy's Daily Alaska Heli & Sled Lovefest 2008 - Days 1 - 4 The Drive Up Here
All in all not bad. However, it’s not for the faint of heart that 2,500+ mile drive from Lake Tahoe to Haines, Alaska on the Alaska – Canada Highway. All’s well going up 5 through Oregon and Washington, but after crossing into Canuck land and finally getting on 97 / Alcan Hwy, it’s just one big high desert for about 1,000 miles heading up through Prince George, BC and finally getting to make the left turn to AK up at Fort Nelson, BC.
Heading west from there it definitely hits you that you are miles from nowhere. I’ve talked to some locals up in the Yukon in places like Watson Lake and Whitehorse and heard some horror stories of this stretch of the Alcan – like people attempting to drive it in -50ºF with 3 feet of visibility in a pounding, white-out blizzard.
So why the drive you might ask? Even with high fuel prices this is the 21st century and we’ve got fancy-dancy things called planes that could wisk me from Reno to Seattle to Juneau and then puddle jump to Haines, AK. Well, when you’re a sledhead like I am, you’ll clearly go to great lengths to have your snowmobile with you up here. Forget the fact that you could be grounded from flying in the heli 6 out of 7 days sitting out the weather up here – that alone is worth the effort to have a sled here – but the riding is sooooo sick here in and of itself that you could come JUST to snowmobile.
I know that might sound sac-religious to heli skiing and snowboarding purists, but dude – with sleds today you can rip powder turns both up AND down the hill – and you can do it on those 6 “down days” that would normally turn into a true “daze”.
Your body can only take so much tequila and scrabble and watching VCR tapes of Raiders of the Lost Ark day after day waiting for some bluebird weather…..
Some quick highlights:
- Left Tahoe at 2pm Monday, 4/7/08
- Three of us – Chappy, Gardner, and Dean – in a 2500 Chevy with 4-sled trailer in tow
- Stopped to see grandparents and dad in Oroville – and snap a bitchin billboard photo
- Gardner drove to Mt. Shasta City, I took over there at 8pm
- I stopped driving 11 hours later at 7am just before the Canadian boarder after powering all night up I-5
- After breakfast, a stop for chains, a 3 ton jack, and a thorough grilling by the usually friendly Canucks – we finally got back on the road about noon and Dean rolled us into Prince George, BC about 10pm for a hot shower and a nap…..32 hours after leaving home
- Wednesday, 4/9/08 we wake up and shove off with Gardner at the helm
- No joke – to blend in with the Canucks, throw on a Peterbilt camo trucker hat and end EVERY sentence with “eh”
- A&W Double Teen burgers with a root beer float…….mmmmmmmmm
- There ain’t shit between Prince George, BC and Fort Nelson, BC – not to mention no shit between Fort Nelson and anywhere else up there to be honest
- Pulled into Watson lake, Yukon about 1am for another hot shower and nap
- Woke up Thursday early for the final push for Haines, AK
- First we stopped at “Sally’s Café” at the junction of Hwy 37 and 1 in the Yukon – and I MOWED through a bacon heavy breakfast that was truly “home cookin” – all time good I tell ya
- Another 6 to 8 road hours and…….voila…....you officially and almost literally enter heaven once you finally see the coastal mountain range
- We even had "Stairway to Heaven" come on the XM just as we made the final turn at Haines Junction for the last hour of our drive.....scroll to the bottom of this post and you'll see what I mean
Monday, April 7, 2008
Snowboard Trick Tips with Brandon Cocard
Porters Snowboard Team Member Brandon Cocard Teaches how to throw a Backside Rodeo at Alpine Meadows Ski area.
Thanks to Brandon's Sponsors: Capita, Union Bindings, Ashbury, Deeluxe and Airblaster & Porters.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Breakdance pioneer dies in NYC
NEW YORK - Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost, a hip-hop pioneer whose acrobatic performance with thein the 1983 movie "Flashdance" helped set off a worldwide breakdancing craze, has died. He was 44.
Frost died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center after a long illness, said Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, a senior vice president of the crew where Frost and other so-called b-boys (for beat or break boys) made their name performing complicated and daring dance routines.
"He was one of most charismatic b-boys that ever lived," said Benson Lee, director of the new documentary film "Planet B-Boy."
Breakdancing emerged from the Bronx and Harlem in the early 1970s, part of the hip-hop culture that also included graffiti, MCing or rapping, and disc jockeys scratching and mixing vinyl records on turntables.
During extended pauses, or breaks, in the music, b-boys would mimic James Brown's showmanship and footwork and's martial arts, adding their own signature moves.
Frost was known for his energetic style, intricate choreography and fearless moves including back flips and head spins. One was even dubbed the "Suicide."
Frost got his start in 1978 with the Bronx-based Rock City Crew. In 1981, he became part of the Rock Steady Crew, joining such acclaimed breakdancers as Ken Swift and Lil Crazy Legs.
Frost toured the world with the Rock Steady Crew and other hip-hop artists, including, Futura 2000 and Kool Lady Blue.
Frost's appearance with Rock Steady Crew in "Flashdance" spread the breakdance phenomenon globally, said Joseph Schloss, a visiting scholar in the music department at. "He was one of the first B-boys that most people ever saw," Schloss said.
Graffiti artist and close friend Zulu King Slone, who knew Frost for 15 years, said he was "like a walking hip-hop culture encyclopedia."
As a member of the Rock Steady Crew, Frost also appeared in several movies on hip-hop culture, including "Wild Style," "Beat Street" and "Style Wars." He also appeared on the cover of thein 1981.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
Associated Press writer Tania Fuentez contributed to this report.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008
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