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TR - Valdez, AK / Chugach

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
http://web.mac.com/oncloud9/iWeb/VT%20Ski/Welcome.html

Hi, Folks. First post here on Epic. I've been a regular on AlpineZone and SkiMRV (as a MRG & Sugarbush skier).

April 6-12, 2008

Great trip with Valdez Heli-Camps and Skiclinics.com (we were a separate group inside the VHC with Dan Egan as our coach).

We hit very good conditions, lots of new snow, and flew 4 of 6 days. The nice thing about VHC is the snowcat backup terrain off Stone mountain. Our "no fly" days were spent getting freshies on the cat terrain.

I've wanted to ski the Chugach for....way too long. Finally scratched that itch....
post #2 of 16
More details, please! Any photos? What was it like to ski the Chugach with Dan?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

You should be able to...

...click on the website link in my first post with two pages of photos and two film clips. Hope it's working.

http://web.mac.com/oncloud9/iWeb/VT%20Ski/Welcome.html
post #4 of 16
Haven't had a chance to check out the vids since I'm at work, but beautiful site and great pics -- I'm jealous... just this morning in the shower, I was thinking to myself, I wonder if I have the vacation time for a SA ski trip this summer... now I'm thinking about tying it into the X-Team's trip...

And though I'm not one of the most prolific posters, welcome to epic
Mr. O.
post #5 of 16
Hey nice report and welcome to epic!
I can't believe I just watched so much of the "dreaded helmet cam". I really enjoyed it though. (only got half through 1st mov. so far) I love the part when you can see your shadow on the snow and the shadow of the snow cloud from the turns.
From the audio it sounds like it was a horrible experience!...

btw Mr.O, what are you using for skis?
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Dynastar Legend Pro XXL in 2008/09's new 187 length

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
btw Mr.O, what are you using for skis?
They worked superbly in AK, and are great back home, too.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
Hey nice report and welcome to epic!
I can't believe I just watched so much of the "dreaded helmet cam". I really enjoyed it though. (only got half through 1st mov. so far) I love the part when you can see your shadow on the snow and the shadow of the snow cloud from the turns.
From the audio it sounds like it was a horrible experience!...

btw Mr.O, what are you using for skis?
Tog-- told you that there were at least 3 quality helmet cam vids out there... The other two are:

The Suit from TGR in the trees:
http://tetongravity.com/forums/showt...ghlight=helmet
Ski Gliding Mt. Eiger (can't get enough of this one):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY7tr0cNmmM

EDIT: Sorry for the possible threadjacking -- back to Mr. Orange's trip
post #8 of 16
Great trip! Hope you enjoyed. The only thing - pics are very unsufficient - want more of them. =)
post #9 of 16
This looks like a fantastic trip! I'm so envious! Thank you for sharing.
post #10 of 16
Hey Mr. Orange,
How would you describe the powder there? A bit different from what you get at Sugarbush/MRG?
Personally, I'm surprised at how dry some of the powder is in VT in the last several years. Perhaps this is due to drought in the SouthEast.
But back to AK,..what's it like?
btw, how did you pick that partic. heli outfit?
post #11 of 16
Fantastic trip, I am truely jealous as I sit here in Ottawa at night and all the snow is gone and no ski resorts within a 6 hour drive are still open, I guess way up North is the only place to go, just need to ask my boss for an advance on my next years salary and I am on the next flight out.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Glad folks seem to like trip report.

Wish I had better still images. A couple of others on the trip will be sharing some images around, and I hope to get some and process/post them. Getting stills of other skiers in action is tough, as we all go one at a time for safety reasons. You're either snapping down, or snapping up....both not great angles. Would be nice to have a few from the side, showing pitch.

The question on AK powder is pretty well addressed in this Epic thread:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=69215

I liked the snow. I think we hit it when it was coming down regularly, and was pretty light. People see Valdez' location and think coastal, but the stuff we were on felt like a cross between coastal and interior. I liked the not too light snow for it's consistency and very direct feedback.

I signed up for the AK trip through Skiclinics.com. I'd done the Sugarbush clinic, and a bunch of people I ski with have done numerous trips with Dan Egan and John Egan. I researched Valdez Heli-Camps operation pretty intensively as the Skiclinics.com AK trip was a "group within the group" of VHC's operations that week. I liked what I heard in terms of the VHC operation, safety record, and especially the snow cat backup. The down day we had were up on the cat terrain, all freshies, and definitely better than twiddling our thumbs. Overall I was very happy with all aspects of the trip and am planning a return visit next year.

My wife is wondering how my "Once in a lifetime" trip became "I'm going again next year" so quickly. I told her "to ignore that man behind the green curtain".
post #13 of 16
Nice photos, Mr. Orange. Have you ever done a heli trip elsewhere so you can compare the slopes -- such as a CMH or MW trip?
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Nope...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Nice photos, Mr. Orange. Have you ever done a heli trip elsewhere so you can compare the slopes -- such as a CMH or MW trip?
...never hit either of those outfits. It's my understanding, generally, from folks who have done both, that you're getting steeper terrain in AK, due to what the snow can sticks to, and lighter/deeper snow in BC. But I think that is a very general observation.
post #15 of 16
I love the pictures on your website (nice website, btw)! Friends & I considered going on this trip but we couldn't make it work. Please say more about the level of challenge for "mere mortal" skiers. And thanks for the TR.
post #16 of 16

A trip of life time!

Well Mr Orange,

You ripped it up in AK! Nice job and great video! Our TV show featuring your interview will be airing next fall, watch for time and dates!

We are booking next seasons trip now and have early season discounts if any one is interested!

Have a great Summer!

Dan
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