words and photos by Sage from http://sagecattabriga-alosa.com/
Riding in Alaska is a unique experience, snow creates formations that seem to be out of this world, and huge pillows, spires, flutes and spines create an alien playground. The skylines are riddled with endless peaks, huge glaciers separate drainages, and distances are hard to gauge. With no visual references like trees or structures, to evaluate size, itÃ¢ÂÂs easy to mistake a 2000-foot face for something much smaller. Cliff airs that appear to be ten-foot rocks turn into 40-foot drops. Only When the helicopter flies towards the face to drop off a friend do you finally get perspective of the size.
The posse is comprised of a world-class production crew from TGR, photographers Flip McCririck, and Adam Clark, Athletes, Seth Morrison, Tanner Hall, Dana Flahr, and myself. Several Other riders have cycled through here already this year too, Erik Roner, Ian McIntosh, and still photographer Mark Fisher just wrapped up the first leg of filming here.
I rolled into town early and had a string of blue bird days with them; the first window the crew had seen the whole trip. Plugging in with the group halfway through their session supercharged my re-immersion into the terrain. We quickly stepped into big zones after a day of snow assessment.
The crew was on fire, charging fast, with mad enthusiasm. Snow Was deep. The deepest snow IÃ¢ÂÂve ever skied on AKÃ¢ÂÂs steep fluted terrain. Face shots were unavoidable, and on top of the normal challenges vision was spotty, you were forced to plan wayyyy ahead.