One comes to Haines, Alaska to confront their personal demons on aesthetic, heavy big mountain lines. With snow that glues itself to seventy degree spines, It's the capital of the snowy planet for that kind of jazz.
Typically, tree skiing and Haines aren't used in the same sentence, but in one of life's little surprises, we found ourselves on a pillow hunt during the Fifty Year Storm.
Oskar and Mark showed up in Alaska with more camera gear than a mid-town fashion studio. Huge black cases overflowed from the trailer.
There were enough lenses to shoot the Superbowl. Their accessories are numerous and interesting. Like a club of Dungeon and Dragonistas, these guys trade 'pocket wizards' and 'slaves'.
From the Haines House, it's a short snort up the driveway to where the Lower School House Road intersects Mosquito Lake Road. Take a right, and then another quarter mile down the road puts you just above Mosquito Lake- a quick five minute jaunt.
A good sized body of water that stretches a couple of miles in total length, Mosquito Lake features a series of sections and dogleg bends that make you feel like you are entering new, secluded sub lakes everytime you pass a new kink in the topography.
When we arrived in Haines, the high mountains looked wind scoured and hard- everything was beat. When it comes to skiing, it's only the top couple of feet that mean anything, and Haines was having a record year for overall snowfall. The mountains were at high tide, and the prospect of the inevitable refresh loomed on the horizon.
We crossed the border and arrived at the Haines House late at night on slick, icy roads. Patrik was asleep. Rob was crashed out on his Paco Pad, trying to catch Z's for an early start at helicopter skiing guide school the next morning.
It had been two years since we had seen this house, and it had a sort of a magic feel to walk back into it, and know that it was our new basecamp for missions in Haines.
After two trips, we've never experienced Whitehorse in warmer than -15 C conditions, but there's been enough whining about the cold in this blog already.
With our feet numb and frost bitten, our spirits bitter and beaten, feeling road-haggered and testy, we endured a day of more cold temperatures while doing errands in the Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon.
Fourteen species of tropical orchids live at the Liard hot springs in northern British Columbia, Canada. Fourteen. Tropical Plants.
Sitting at 59 degrees north, and just south of the border of British Columbia and the Yukon territories, it's an ecological anomaly surrounded by a harsh and unforgiving landscape. Fueled by warm geothermal waters, Liard harbors a rich boreal forest with moss laden branches and perfect natural pools of soothing clear water. It's a utopic setting that attracts every mammal in the region- most recently, road weary homo sapiens.
With the transmission down, our stay in Abbotsford British Columbia became an opportunity to develop as grease connoisseurs.
Inside the John's C. Anderson's trailer is a legitimate grease refinery. It allows one to take grease from a restaurant, and in theory, convert it directly into useful fuel on the spot.
The simplified steps are as follows:
1. Collect used cooking grease in the back alleys of restaurants (Asian food restaurants are the best).
Originally, Tobias Liljeroth and I were supposed to be in Whistler for magazine shoot before having Mark and Stephan pick us up before heading up to Alaska. With Mark and Stephan delayed in Utah, Toby, myself, and a Scotsman named Mike headed down to Vancouver, B.C. to wait for the pick-up in a more cosmopolitan environment.
Vancouver became a sushi and beer tour.
After checking into a hosted downtown, we had our first sushi sensation at a place right around the corner- 24 pieces for me- that place scored pretty high.