Davis Dunlap and his dad Russ spend all their time in the high country. They're real mountain men. And when these men travel in the mountains, they prefer to use airplanes. Russ flies those Alaska Airlines jets that I like so much, and Davis has spent almost four years of college mastering the art of aviation at UAA. (Or is it science?) So when word came down thru Étienne, Antoine and François that there was a seat available on Russ' airplane for a little high country skiing action, I wasted no time in shirking my responsibilities at the office.
Russ knew about this little place in the Chugach Mountains called Punchbowl Glacier. (And truthfully I knew the place too because I'd been there before, though I didn't recognize it with so little snow; I figured it out later when I Google-Earthed it.)
Here's a message to Russ and Davis: All of us - Étienne, Bella, Antoine, François and I thank you for an absolutely unforgettable day of sunshine and powder snow in the Chugach Mountains. And the blog readers who weren't there thank you too, because this blog post brightens their day.
|Étienne looking down on Russ' magical flying machine.|
|The essence of this photo is not Étienne, nor is it the powder snow. It's the look on Bella's face. She was speechless for a moment or two.|
|Antoine (I think the alpiners call that "leaning in")|
|Given the choice between airplane and chairlift, I'll choose airplane every time.|
|Bella, Russ, and François|
|Glaciation in action.|
|Étienne dropping in on the "François line"|
|This is an inside joke. If you weren't there, you don't know why this is funny. Sorry.|
|François and lunch. (Note the presence of condiments like ketchup and mustard in the background. These are not the kinds of things you bring when you're hoofing it.)|
|This hill is tracked out. Time to go home.|