Big-mountain season in Alaska is well and truly underway, and TGR has a crew taking full advantage of the region's lines and spines. They're also enjoying spending downtime finding creative ways to drink Sierra Nevadas.
For the past couple of weeks, Griffin Post, Elyse Saugstad, Angel Collinson, and Nick McNutt have been ripping around South-Central AK with Alaska Powder Descents, a heli-op based in Juneau, as well as Triple Point Expeditions, based out of Palmer.
With cinematographers Matt Herriger, Jon Riley, Jill Concarne, Nick Koldenhoven, Mike Hatchett, and photographer Nic Alegre along for the ride, the crew has been slaying pow and stacking footage for Winterland, TGR's upcoming ski film.
Collinson is stoked to be back in Alaska. Meanwhile, Post has some insight into an average day on an AK heli-ski trip:
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In case you’re wondering what a day in AK looks like: 8:06AM: Wake. Check photo of face you plan on skiing today 8:08AM: Check weather. Decide to make a plan later 8:14AM: Begin caffeination process 8:15AM: Look at photo of face again 8:36AM Check weather 8:55AM Although appropriately caffeinated, continue drinking coffee anyway 9:19AM Discuss plan for the day now that most of the group is awake 9:41AM Have exact same conversation now that entire group is awake 9:43AM Check photo of face with group 10:01AM Come up with new plan, discuss with group, decide to stick to original plan 10:32AM Passionately debate merits of different weather forecasts, criticize the iPhone weather app 11:03AM Pretend to stretch for 5 minutes while looking at photo of face 11:17AM Confirm 12:30 lift for first crew 11:18AM Push first lift to 1:00PM 12:00PM-12:45PM Attempt to leave, only to remember something last minute 1:10PM Make call to someone still at house to grab something you forgot 1:15PM Fly into field 1:45PM Observe face is not in light. Discuss when face will be in light based mostly on animalistic awareness of sun trajectory 2:18PM Discuss weather, praise accuracy of iPhone weather app 3:01PM State face is still not in light, just in case anyone has become snowblind in the last hour 3:36PM Note that face is beginning to get light, just in case anyone has become snowblind in the thirty minutes 4:01PM Get to top of line, somehow not ready despite preparing for this moment the entire day 4:07PM Drop into the most intense situation you’ve been in since last April 5:01PM Look at photo of face 5:13PM Drop again with more confidence, same amount of fear 5:51PM Look at face 5:53PM Discuss filming one more line The word “sick” is used no less than 12 times during conversation 5:59PM Go up for one more line because the light is looking sick 6:36PM Pinch yourself because you get to ski this snow, in this place, in this light. So sick 7:07PM Depart field, snap photo of face for tomorrow, immediately look at photo 8:19PM Eat dinner, discuss tomorrow’s plan After much deliberation decide to make plan in AM 9:31PM Sleep…but check photo of face first
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I have been to Alaska twice before this trip, but weather and conditions can be tough up here. We didn’t get fully skunked on those trips at all, but I’ve been really lucky to experience the magic of building up to the terrain mentally here on this one. In our first week, we skied 6 days, which allowed us to really start getting into a good flow and understanding more about the scale of the features. With more zones picked out, and the trip not even halfway over, the stoke is high for the @tetongravity crew! Photo from our guide @tuckerpatton
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Nick McNutt is up there doing his thing, but the question is whether he landed it switch... Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for the premiere to find out.
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One second you’re hauling ass and hanging on at the bottom of your line, and the next second you’re finding yourself getting bucked and crashing hard immediately putting an end to your trip. Sure is crazy how quickly situations can change within split seconds! Not sure yet if my crash is a season ender or just a few weeks off, but it did unfortunately cut my Alaska film trip with @tetongravity short. I still got plenty of skiing and filming in on the trip so at least I feel good about that. I’m home now with doctor appointments lined up the wazoo to get the process of healing and recovery started. Of course I’m bummed but the reality is I accept the fact that bad injuries go hand in hand with being a professional athlete trying to push one’s limits. The main thing I don’t look forward to is the chunk of time I may have to be idle! In the meantime I’m grateful that I got to experience a heli-skiing trip with TGR in Alaska. The terrain was sick, the crew was really, really fun, and @triplepointexpeditions & @alaskapowder we’re wonderful operations to work with... I would do it all over again even with the same outcome. Lots of kick ass skiing went down with @angelcollinson, @nickmcnutt, @griffpost, and myself so I highly recommend seeing the #tgrwinterland movie next fall! #skilikeagirl #crashlikeaboss #goshdarnit
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Sadly, Elyse took a fall and had to leave early. We're all wishing her a speedy recovery, and with luck a few more turns this season. The rest of the crew is still up there doing their thing with skis, cameras, and helicopters, so follow @tetongravity to see what they're getting up to - and check out Winterland this fall to see the final product!