So after months of planning and preparation it’s all over. Alaska has been and gone but I seriously hope it will come again. It was an epic adventure filled drama: We had an “aviation incident” while heli-boarding in the Chugachs that could have ended so differently. We flew with a dare devil bush pilot between dramatic peaks deep into the Wrangell mountains. We dealt with frost bite, crevasse falls, a six day storm, and a close encounter with a moose. We met Star the Reindeer, a guy snowboarding with 2 dead birds (strange as it sounds) and many Alaskan locals.
On May 5, 2012 at approximately 4:45pm, our team of five splitboarders and four skiers successfully summited Mount Bear, at 14,831 ft (4,520 m) one of the top 20 highest mountains in the US, deep in the Wrangell-Saint Elias Mountains. It was -45 degrees Celsius at the summit with howling winds, hanging around was not an option. Our successful summit marks the first snowboard ascent and descent of Mount Bear and probably the first female descent. The range is a mountain area the size of Switzerland and a true wilderness with some of the world’s best ski and snowboard mountaineering. We had hoped to ride the powder on a few of the lower unnamed peaks after we had knocked off the objective. Alas the weather gods had decided this was not going to happen as we waited out a storm that very nearly resulted in us missing our homeward flights.
So back home in the Lakes and I’m gradually getting the feeling back in my toes and the ends of my fingers. Its always hard coming home after such an adventure. I’m definitely feeling like house dwelling might not be for me. The simple life and the open road are very appealing right now. That and fueling the addiction for heli-boarding again!
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