World Freeskiing Championships, Alaska 2002
By Blair Fontana
Photos: Blair Fontana and Robin Courcelles
On April 9th I left Whistler for an Alaskan adventure with Leif Zapf-Gilje, Mike Stevenson and Robin Courcelles. We went there to compete in the World Freeskiing Championships, ski big peaks, and hopefully see a moose. Well what else can I say other than Alaska was great. The mountains were huge, the sun was shining, and we saw a moose (well I didn't but Leif, Robin, and Mike did while they waited the 12 hours for my plane to arrive–lucky bastards).
The competition went well, Leif came 2nd, Mike 5th, and Robin 7th. The funniest part was that the winner, Guerlain Chircherit, had just been caught going way to fast in his car that morning. The cop sent him off to jail but then let him out to ski if he promised to come back right after. Well he won and instead of celebrating he cruised right back to the cop shop and payed out a hefty fine.
After the comp we headed off to Girdwood for what was probably the best leg of our trip. We hooked up with some super friendly local sledders, Warren, Mike, and Cory, and they shuttled us up these fat alaskan ridges all day. I must say the double ride up was one of the scariest most intense things I've done but the ski down was epic.
We ended our trip on a wild pub crawl through the streets of Anchorage till we stumbled onto our red eye flights. To sum it up Alaska is all they say it is, gigantic mountains, great strip clubs, cool locals, and about a thousand guys to each girl.