Forget Gstaad and Aspen, Come Ski Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountain Range
March 14, 2012

That's me in Anchorage with Wild Bill, he sold me this beaver hat out of his pick up truck.

That's me in Anchorage with Wild Bill, he sold me this beaver hat out of his pick up truck.

Yupi'k artist Umara Nupowhotuk's beautiful doll and masks made of elk skin, seal fur and sea otter trim... all materials

Yupi'k artist Umara Nupowhotuk's beautiful doll and masks made of elk skin, seal fur and sea otter trim... all materials "harvested" by Native Americans on St.Lawrence Island, Alaska.

 

 

I’m about to fly out of Anchorage to the Tordrillo Mountain lodge. These old planes have no heating, my feet always get really cold!!

I’m about to fly out of Anchorage to the Tordrillo Mountain lodge. These old planes have no heating, my feet always get really cold!!

There’s the wooden lodge in back, we’re about to land on the frozen lake, cool!

There’s the wooden lodge in back, we’re about to land on the frozen lake, cool!

Looks like they have decent snow cover... about 30 feet of it.

Looks like they have decent snow cover... about 30 feet of it.

 

 

We fly up every morning and do 10 to 14 runs with this heli. The pilot Glenn flies like he’s in Apocalypse Now… scares the bejesus outta me. I think a helicopter crash would be worse than an avalanche, but he’s the best pilot I’ve ever seen.

We fly up every morning and do 10 to 14 runs with this heli. The pilot Glenn flies like he’s in Apocalypse Now… scares the bejesus outta me. I think a helicopter crash would be worse than an avalanche, but he’s the best pilot I’ve ever seen.

Look where he lands that thing!

Look where he lands that thing!

Landing in deep deep deep powder.

Landing in deep deep deep powder.

Blissful pause talking to Greg Harms, master powder guide extraordinaire.

Blissful pause talking to Greg Harms, master powder guide extraordinaire.

Same conversation, different location.

Same conversation, different location.

There I am with Marc Gouzer from Geneva. I’m wearing a sealskin hat and gloves I bought from Umara, the Yupi'k artist. Wow are we happy… it’s kind of like going to heaven I guess.

There I am with Marc Gouzer from Geneva. I’m wearing a sealskin hat and gloves I bought from Umara, the Yupi'k artist. Wow are we happy… it’s kind of like going to heaven I guess.

50 degree face

50 degree face

This thing is amazing. They call it “NYC” or alternatively the “Vagina”, which I prefer. We skied the chute on the left. Believe me, you felt like this was the greatest work of art on the planet, it was breathtakingly beautiful.

This thing is amazing. They call it “NYC” or alternatively the “Vagina”, which I prefer. We skied the chute on the left. Believe me, you felt like this was the greatest work of art on the planet, it was breathtakingly beautiful.

A look up the vagina.

A look up the vagina.

See how wide it is? This chute is the ultimate, and my uberguide, Greg Harms, got this picture with the moon above my head.

See how wide it is? This chute is the ultimate, and my uberguide, Greg Harms, got this picture with the moon above my head.

This amazing run was a first descent. I was invited to name it, so I called it ‘Tan Tan Bo Puking’ of course, after the great Murakami masterpiece

This amazing run was a first descent. I was invited to name it, so I called it ‘Tan Tan Bo Puking’ of course, after the great Murakami masterpiece

Hohoho... fun in the snow.

Hohoho... fun in the snow.

Soft and deep, this stuff is BLOWER!

Soft and deep, this stuff is BLOWER!

swish swish swish

swish swish swish

I even launched off this cliff, at my age! Was I high or what?

I even launched off this cliff, at my age! Was I high or what?

Whoa! there’s Loic Gouzer, he’ll follow clients just about anywhere to get a good work consigned to the upcoming May sale...

Whoa! there’s Loic Gouzer, he’ll follow clients just about anywhere to get a good work consigned to the upcoming May sale...

Oops, he may be in a little too deep on this one, but trust me, he got better as it got steeper.

Oops, he may be in a little too deep on this one, but trust me, he got better as it got steeper.

His brother Marc rips it Verbier style.

His brother Marc rips it Verbier style.

He launched and then crashed, hahaha!

He launched and then crashed, hahaha!

OK, so once all week I dumped it! Soft landing and skis still on my feet!

OK, so once all week I dumped it! Soft landing and skis still on my feet!

One of the youngsters tried to get me while my back was turned, but I got him in a headlock.

One of the youngsters tried to get me while my back was turned, but I got him in a headlock.

Well, I ate some snow, too.

Well, I ate some snow, too.

Mike Densen is in so much snow he disappeared.

Mike Densen is in so much snow he disappeared.

There’s extreme athlete Chuck Patterson... nice turn my man.

There’s extreme athlete Chuck Patterson... nice turn my man.

Chuck jumped this little cliff... he did it in style.

Chuck jumped this little cliff... he did it in style.

Watch Chuck board and ski the deep snow, for more action see chuckpattersonsports.com

It's Eran Schreiber... what are you doing here in alaska?! I guess you couldn't resist!

It's Eran Schreiber... what are you doing here in alaska?! I guess you couldn't resist!

Look at the Tordrillo glacier covered in snow, it’s exquisite. I chiped off the ice and poured my scotch on it every night.

Look at the Tordrillo glacier covered in snow, it’s exquisite. I chiped off the ice and poured my scotch on it every night.

It’s like a Manzoni.

It’s like a Manzoni.

This coyote was eating a wolverine, scary beautiful.

This coyote was eating a wolverine, scary beautiful.

Back at the lodge I found Annie and Bret, some nice Alaskan girls to take care of me. Bret runs things with an iron fist…don’t F with her.

Back at the lodge I found Annie and Bret, some nice Alaskan girls to take care of me. Bret runs things with an iron fist…don’t F with her.

Check out this weirdo, he’s holed up in a cave all winter. No one has seen him, he never comes out. Perhaps he’s a bodhisattva in meditation? My week was up I had to leave, but Alaska is beyond amazing. If that’s not heaven and don’t know what is.  Thank you master guide Greg Harms you are a true polymath, thanks Bret for making it all good, thanks Brendan for the great food and thanks Glenn for not crashing that chopper, have a great season, and see you next year 4 sure.

Check out this weirdo, he’s holed up in a cave all winter. No one has seen him, he never comes out. Perhaps he’s a bodhisattva in meditation? My week was up I had to leave, but Alaska is beyond amazing. If that’s not heaven and don’t know what is. Thank you master guide Greg Harms you are a true polymath, thanks Bret for making it all good, thanks Brendan for the great food and thanks Glenn for not crashing that chopper, have a great season, and see you next year 4 sure.