Now, after having had the incredible luck of four blue-bird days in a row of skiing in Haines, Alaska, I feel like my life as a skier has changed forever. The Alaskan mountains are like nothing I’ve ever seen before; skiing this terrain is completely different to anything else I’ve ever done before. First of all, the sheer size of the mountains, with their steep spines, enormous glaciers and crevasses, and ridge lines crowned by meter-high cornices completely overwhelm you. The helicopter can drop you off on the top of lines that are otherwise simply impossible to access.
On my very first day, my very first line, I was towed in by the helicopter and dropped off on a small pyramid-shaped peak on top of a ridge line, offering just enough space for me to get my skis on. A second later the heli and the noise was gone and I was all alone, standing there quite petrified, without time for my mind to adjust to the steepness and exposure. On top of that, there’s a film crew waiting and ready for me to drop in. In that moment I really felt like everything I’ve ever learnt as a skier, all the skills I’ve acquired and all the experience gained, would be put to the test. But I also kept calm and believed I could do it, and then I nailed that run.
Alaska makes you a better and stronger skier, especially mentally, because here there is no room whatsoever for self-doubt, hesitation or uncertainties. If you’re skiing big mountain lines here, you better know what you’re doing and you better send it, because there can be serious consequences if you don’t.
You can check out my facebook album of photos from this Alaska trip so far here.