After a mild North American winter and with a free place to stay, Pip Hunt, McKenna Peterson, and Amie Engerbretson made a 12-day trip to Mürren, Switzerland in search of soft snow, sun, and big mountains. The three were shooting a segment for a Poor Boyz-produced K2 team movie and Lynsey Dyer’s upcoming all-women ski film, Pretty Faces.
It’s mid-April and you have a good goggle tan. Thanks to the armor of skin provided by those dark days in January, your face doesn’t get cold anymore. Your legs go top-to-bottom no problem. You know exactly where the rocks are, what speeds you need for certain jumps, and which runs get clogged by the tourists. Your ski posse is firmly established, and you know which friends have certain obligations—spouse, kid, busted transmission—that make up the rest of their lives.
It's starting to feel like spring down here in the lower 48, but in Alaska the season is just starting to ramp up, and it goes for a while. You can ski through July, which sounds pretty good as things are getting melty here in California. We sent photographer Garrett Grove to AK last summer to ski and fish with Chugach Powder Guides during their Kings and Corn trip. This is what he saw.
As more backcountry travelers push out the gates, up the skin track, and into the wilderness, the issue of snow safety education becomes all the more important. In such a tight-knit community, the effects of avalanches and avalanche related deaths resonate through and through, top to bottom. Refresher courses and practical recovery drills are touted, but can easily fall by the wayside once the snow starts flying. After an early season of quick day tours and mellow backcountry laps, I realized it was time for me to get educated.