Chugach Powder Guides is the only heli ski service near Anchorage. It is also one of the few I recommend in Alaska, as most are cowboy operations. My friends Henry Munter and Brad Cosgrove are the head honchos there. Henry, Brad and I work together at the Alaska Avalanche School.
This year, Henry invited me to join the annual CPG guide training. Awfully nice of Henry. It was a great opportunity for me hang out with other guides and talk the talk. In 1998 I worked for CPG while getting ready for my AMGA ski mountaineering guide exam. That was a great experience. I was stoked to be back with friends at CPG.
Henry explaining the daily guide meeting to 20 guides. The first day was inside, hearing lectures on risk management and customer service.
The true heli-bro look is dragging your skis across dry tarmac. Why worry? We have piles of skis.
Brad unloading the basket on the summit of Peak 4710 between Winner Creek and the Punchbowl. On day two of training, five heli-loads of guides were dropped in the mountains around Girdwood. The goal was digging pits to determine the bonding of a recent near-surface facet layer and to see if the deep slab depth hoar problem had redeemed itself.
Our heli tour on day two. We landed on the summit of Peak 4710, skied to the Punchbowl Glacier, skinned up Punchbowl Peak and down an east lobe of the Punchbowl Glacier.
Our first run. The speck in the shadow, 1,500 feet below, is Brad.
Touring to Punchbowl Peak, way above the East Twenty mile drainage.
I've noticed a re-occurring trend in my photos of Brad skiing: him staring out at the mountains. This is a man who truly loves Alaska.
Brad ski cutting off Punchbowl Peak.
Skiing Punchbowl Peak.
CPG is bolstering it's image with new logos and fresh guides.
My group on heli-pit day: Ryan Johnson, Brad Cosgrove, Nick D'Alessio, Kami Cabana and Lauren Georgelos. Thanks everyone for a great day!
On day three we practiced skills at the cat ski area. Combined with fun runs, of course.
Skill station one: skiing with a toboggan, led by Mike Davidson.
Skill station two: packaging a victim with a broken femur, led by Lel Tone.
Skill station three: victim lower in a Kendrick Extrication Device, led by Tucker Chenoweth.
Skill station four: multiple burial avalanche scenario, led by Mike Welsh. Sean McManamy ready to save lives.