Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fly-in Touring in the Neacolas

Reader Scott Fennell of Anchorage, AK sent us a link to his spring trip flying into Alaska’s Neacola Range. Dropped off by plane for a week of touring anything within reach, they chose a beautiful setting with the vast glaciers and rugged summits of the Neacolas. Better than any setting or skiing though, is that they brought a member’s son along with them.

This is exactly how I got my first exposure to serious backcountry skiing, as a 15-year-old headed to the Selkirks for a week of hut touring with my dad and his friends. It was a special feeling to experience such wilderness and adventure with the group of guys that had taught me the mechanics of the climb and the turn, and all of a sudden it all clicked, turning an interest into a deep-seated passion that’s stuck with me ever since.

Below is an excerpt from Scott’s report, and a link to more of their words and photos. Kudos to you guys from Karhu, for sharing your adventures and helping set a backcountry appreciation and passion in another young skier.

(“Don’t tell your mother.” The group awaiting pickup at the end of the week. Photos courtesy of Scott Fennell.)

Leo Americus and his son Ben were looking for some ski partners for a fly-in to the Neacolas. Cody, Thomas, and I jumped at the opportunity. The Neacolas are about 100 miles west of Anchorage and they don't get skied nearly as often as they should. In fact, we were wondering if some of our lines were first descents. If they were, it's more of a testament to the vastness of Alaska and the forgiving conditions that prevailed during our trip. But still, we started naming stuff.

We flew via Beaver into Chakachamna Lake and then shuttled onto the glacier via Supercub. My jaw hit the glacier floor when I realized that the entire area was covered in bottomless powder. We sank to our knees in cold smoke when we hopped off the plane. And the terrain was SO legit. After setting up camp, Cody and I grabbed a few turns in the nearby Backyard Couloir. After my first turn, I knew we were in for an amazing trip.

Read on here...

(Cody arcing into Roller South.)

Share on Facebook

No comments: