Looking across the sprawling valley at five riders scouting a steep chute below them, it almost didn’t seem real. They looked like they were standing on a wall, somehow defying gravity. From where I was standing—on an opposing ridgeline several hundred feet away—the chute looked downright impossible to ride. But in this vast Alaskan landscape, individual perceptions can be deceiving.
It was our third day exploring a stretch of the Talkeetna Mountains about 100 miles to the east of Anchorage, while filming for “By the Midnight Sun.” Our crew of riders—Kurt Sorge, Alex Volokhov, Nico Vink, Jaxson Riddle and Remy Morton—surveyed the steep mountainside in search of possible lines down yet another unridden face. The vast expanses of potentially rideable terrain here were remarkable. And therein lay the challenge: Where to start?
A helicopter would be the most efficient tool for discovering rideable zones, but even with this assistance there were still many unknowns. It wasn’t until the riders got their feet on the ground that they would learn just how challenging and rewarding this terrain could be.