Eyes of SWILD

  Helicopter Snowboarding with the Chugach Powder Guides, Alaska February 2001

Heliskiing the Chugach Range in Alaska is amazing. Mountains jut up straight from the sea. And there is so much snow. Once the helicopter drops you at the top of the peak, the adventure truly begins.

Here we are navigating around a sharp drop off. It's easy with skis but a little tricky for a snowboarder. Once around to the other side, there was a wide expanse of snow to ski.

The helicopters typically seated 4 people. Once you get the hang of it, getting in and out isn't too much trouble. Here we are having a relaxing lunch atop a peak. Great views!

When the helicopter drops us off, it is relatively light. The pilot can really peel off - flying the 'copter almost straight down the mountain. A very impressive sight.

Here a couple of snowboarders are hugging the slope. There is a real rocky dropoff below before the great snow starts. The shot of the slope beyond illustrates the awesome ride.

Some of the runs are pretty steep. I had to catch my breath a few times. Once you get going and the surge of adrenaline kicks in, everything feels great.

Our guide ensured that we skied into some interesting areas. This is a glacier cave with enormous icicles. The ice is a wonderful deep blue that I've never seen before.

Here's Paul chickening out on a steep slope. It was a pretty sharp dropoff that went on forever. You had to be very aggressive on your initial turns due to the steepness.

The Chugach Powder Guides would post a notice every morning on snow conditions. This sign showed a hold until 2pm due to some fog that rolled into the lower valley. The peaks were clear but the helicopter just couldn't take off.

Chris, Cheeta and Paul pose for the camera. We were two skiers and one snowboarder (Paul). There was no problem mixing the type of rider as long a s the skill levels matched.

This is a view from the lower elevations just prior to a helicopter extraction. I must admit, the Alaskan vistas were incredible. And then to be whisked away in a helicopter for the next run is truly amazing.

Powder, powder, powder! There was so much wide open expanses of snow, you could almost close your eyes and just board. Fresh tracks were available on very run. I have never seen so much snow!

If you are looking for a true adventure, heliskiing and heliboarding in Alaska can' t be beaten. 'Adrenaline' will make it come in loud and clear. March may be best weather but end of February was incredible.