Guide Training 2017

This May and June I taught two guide training courses here in Alaska. The first was for Anchorage-based Salmon Berry Tours on the Matanuska Glacier and more recently Adventure Sixty North out of Seward on Exit Glacier. If your organization needs guide training, get in touch and I would love to work with your program too. 

Myself on the right and the Salmon Berry Tours glacier hiking guides on the Matanuska Glacier. Good weather and good company made for a great two days. 

Building V-threads to make an anchor on the ice. V-threads are crucial to use in your anchor on glaciers in the summer, it's amazing how fast ice screws will melt out. 

Doing a 1:1 team haul. I'm a big fan of using the simplest and most basic rescue strategies whenever possible. Why use something more complex if you don't need to?


Some of the "A60" guides on Exit Glacier.

Practicing hauling systems with an incredible view out the office window. 

Here a complex 5:1 is a great step towards greater mechanical advantage if a 3:1 isn't enough, just one piece of cord and two carabiners is all you need. 

On the last day I had the guides run through scenarios including making real satellite phone calls to test their emergency response plan. 

Here the rescuer is ascending the line back up out of the crevasse after rappelling to set the patient into the system. Once on top the ropes are converted into a haul system. This practice round was completed in under half an hour which is pretty good considering all the steps that go into it. 

Hauling a patient up on a 3:1 pulley system. The patient is also tied into a separate line on to a separate anchor just in case something happens to the main orange line, always a good idea during practice. 

In this scenario the patient was "unconscious" so a rescuer had to stay with the patient to assist her up as others hauled. Always good to practice the worst possible situations, it will be that much easier to complete if it ever happens for real. 

Great crew to work with! Thanks Adventure 60, see you next year.  

Weekend Heli-ski and Mid-week Backcountry Touring

I am excited to announce a Remarkable Adventures trip option to join me for a skiers and riders dream trip. This year I'm introducing a Girdwood special guided week of heli-skiing on Saturday and Sunday along with your choice of booking 2-4 days worth of backcountry ski touring. This is the ultimate skiers and riders trip combining what is arguably the "best of both worlds" in the ski industry. Heli-skiing and riding is a must do experience for even the most soulful mountain men and woman. You only live once, might as well try it out. To the contrary hiking for your turns is something that the most die-hard resort riders and heli-skier addicts will likely find to be a life changing experience. I love taking people out after heli days, as good as it is a lot of people actually enjoy their non-mechanized days more... those turns become so good when you #earnyourturns .

Inquire on the Booking Page with your interested dates. I would love to enjoy a nice week of adventure in the mountains guiding your group. You could even consider doubling up on your heli-ski weekends if you have the time, call it a "heli-ski sandwhich" where the meat and cheese is hiking in the backcountry for your turns.  

I'm also pleased to report on an excellent start to our winter here in the Girdwood / Turnagain Pass, Alaska region. It has been great to be settled into home for the winter after my summer and fall travels to New Zealand and New England. It's been nice to ride the lifts at Alyeska Resort and the backcountry skiing at Turnagain Pass has been pleasantly surprising with ample snow cover and extremely high quality snow. Even though I skied for three months this summer, when you get back into the snow covered mountains it's easy to forget how awesome sliding on snow is. This year in fact I skied every single month of the year besides October 2016, one month out of ski boots and I'm more than ever psyched to be back in them... 2017 is gonna be a good year!


I head out, back up for another powder run on Winter Solstice Day as my friend and photographer Greg Stafford takes my new camera to snap this shot.


The snow quality during early season has been exceeding expectations. Solstice Day powder on Tincan.  Skier: Greg Stafford.  #AlaskanVelvetSnow


December was filled with a nice mix of blue days and storm days. Temps have been cold to hold snow at sea level. Ample snow coverage has provided good travel. Pictured here is Surface Hoar, if buried it provides an excellent weak layer for avalanching. 

Voile ski pictured here.