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Jekyll & Hyde? April 3, 2007

Chugagch Life, Son!
Some days in Alaska are gloriously epic, and some could possibly resemble an average Saturday in Cleveland. Yesterday was one of the former, and here’s what it felt like:

With one knee down, you brace yourself against the incoming rotor wash. Suddenly, it’s hurricane winds all around you; bits of snow become flying bullets, and unattended bags get swept into the air. Flying chunks of ice not withstanding, you observe the giant metal bludgeoning devices attached to the bottom of the heli, on which it will hopefully land. It will sometimes land on the snowboards in front of you, unless you manage to pull them out of the way.

Then you get in.

Dan Milner said it best when he asked, “Do they put monosodium glutamate in heli fuel?” Heli-riding is addictive - even the chairlift is an unbelievable rush when you’re in heli mode, let alone the plundering of acres upon acres of fresh powder in the sunshine. You could probably choke on all of the adrenaline, except that when you breath all you can come up with is huge gulps of pacific mountain air.

Hours afterwards, your hands still shake.

Other days, like today, you wake up to find cloudy skies, with completely flat light, grouding Heli ops and rendering resort riding in Alyeska’s above treeline terrain a vertigo inducing crapland. So, you wait, eat Reindeer Sausage Pizza, and ponder whether you should deign to go watch Bode Miller and Ted Ligety race. (Ed. Note: Ligety, a gold medalist in some 2 planked event in Torino and Hyde to Bode’s Jekyll, was out with CPG yesterday too. We got to see a line or two of his, and share some vittals in the Alaskan spring sun. Our verdict: meh. We woulda rather partied with Bode.)

Comment below if you don’t want us swept off a cliff by rotor wash.

Update: Suddenly, it’s Jekyll again; our there’s an openning in the weather, and we’re pumping up into the Chugach at 12:30. This is Chugach Life, Son!

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