words by Kevin & Jessica Quinn, photos by PNH
It’s always a nice feeling to sit back and reflect on the great memories that an Alaska heli season has once again provided. Points North Heli-Adventures‘ 2013 season (our 15th season) has come to an end and it’s time to look back.
The season started off with unbelievable snow and sunny skies. It was honestly some of the best quality Alaska snow that’s imaginable. Dreamy, Chugach ‘go-fast’ powder. Not too deep, not too shallow, just perfect. Week 2 came up quickly, marking the start to our sold-out house for the remainder of the season. With 50 guests a week and a lot of incredible skiing in front of us, it was game on.
Week 2 was a special week as we had a really fun group in house as well as Tony Harrington and True Color Film Company. Lisa Filzmoser has been a friend of mine for years and we have been talking about Alaska for just as long. It was incredible to see her and Aline Bock just SHREDDING the Chugach. The girls (along with Alvaro Vogel and Nichola Wolke) rallied some impressive lines and came back with ear-to-ear grins daily.
The Chugach had some really amazing weeks and some weeks that battled the wind. There were a few days where it was literally blowing sideways and the helicopters stayed grounded, for good reason. The interesting part was even with all the wind; the conditions still remained good after the winds subsided.
Our heli accessed touring program had some incredible weeks and some not so incredible weeks due to enormous snowfalls. One storm literally produced over 10ft of snow. We were able to get all the tourers out for a few days, and that’s what they came here for: deep snow in big terrain.
Last season was as good as it got with the program as it was sunny every change over day and departure day. We figured since we have gotten the best and the worst possible scenarios, there is no place to go but in the middle and or up! It’s truly a special way to experience the Chugach and our guides, Jeff and Brennan and helper Wes are top notch. We are lucky to have them on our crew!
There were some exciting events that took place this season that will not be forgotten. Long time guide, Jason Mack got to heli ski with his 7-year-old son Declan. Declan has been visiting us since he was a baby and is an incredible skier. It was a pretty emotional day for Mom, Dad and everyone who got to experience the special run that Declan made.
Other special moments were having our good buddies get engaged. Tal Fletcher asked his long time girlfriend Sara Dack to be his wife at the bottom of her first ever run in Alaska, which was followed by her first ever heli ride! Ephraim Schwartz made a sneak attack with his fiancé Christina Anderson when he surprised her with a sign “will you marry me” he was holding as the heli landed to pick up her group. It was truly touching being part of both these amazing engagements! Way to go guys!
To wrap things up, no matter whom you visit in Alaska, you are going to have a good time if weather and conditions permit. All operators goal is to have their guests go home with experiencing the “best days of their life”. It’s important to remember this and remember that safety and Mother Nature are the most important factors in decision making for heli ski operators in Alaska. We have a tough job during the busy 10-week season and are so appreciate to our amazing guide crew and staff who keep everyone safe. We are fortunate to sell out every season with 3 beautiful helicopters and an 85% return rate. We do hope that whether you visit us or someone else, you have a great, safe experience, as there is truly no place like the Chugach!