L'Aventurier Alpin

I spent much of April 2010 on an Alaska roady with a Quebecois TV show called L'Aventurier Alpin. On previous L'Aventurier Alpin trips Simon St-Arnaud–a heavy in the Quebec ski media–has covered trips to the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, Argentina and ski touring in Norway and Sweden. On this trip we skied at Turnagain Pass, Thompson Pass near Valdez, Hatcher Pass and Little Switzerland in the Alaska Range. Joining Simon was a well-travelled cameraman named Michel Valiquett; Olivier Brongniart and Jerome Grec who are friends from Switzerland; and Mathieu Leblanc who runs La Sandwicherie Café in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. This crew loves to ski and is comfortable in front of the camera. I was hired for backcountry guiding and logistics. The end result was five, one-hour episodes shown in Quebec. 

We parked and slept anywhere. Here on the Richardson highway below Mount Wrangell on our way to ski Valdez.

 

Olivier gave his skis the all-American sofa, beer and pizza treatment.

 

 The geology around Valdez is tipped on end, stacking couloirs like a bookstore.

 

Heliski Valdez.

 

Ripping in the Valley of the Tusk. 

 

Mathieu dropping into the Cleave Creek Glacier with Michel filming in the shadows from halfway down.  

 

Earning our turns in Valdez! Jerome on a Crud Busters sunset tour at 10pm. 

 

Valdez is a true Alaska cultural experience. Michel souvenir shopping.  

 

Driving the dramatic Glenn Highway below the Chugach Mountains. 

 

Next stop: backcountry skiing from the Hatcher Pass Lodge.

 

Little Switzerland was our grand finale. Unloading the Talkeetna Air Taxi DeHavilland Turbo Otter on the Pika Glacier in the Alaska Range. Waist-deep snow is stacked on the wheel skis.  

 

Camping in Little Switzerland.

 

Little Switzerland is the ultimate Alaska Range playground: skiing, ice cragging, rock cragging, long rock routes, mountaineering, all just a short distance from base camp. 

 

Ski Little Switzerland. 

 

Ski Little Switzerland.