Goodbye Never Summer

The time has come to begin not only thinking about winter, but to discuss the legitimacy of actual ski outings in to the Talkeetna backcountry.  It’s October one, and the mountains are draped in descending curtains of crisp, white snow, contrasting against the harsh mid day light of a high latitude autumn.  For some, this has been the summer that never was.  The worst flooding in decades, incessant rains, subtropical Alaska hurricanes, and one of the worst years for Chinooks in memory. A Never Summer as some would call it.  For others, we have enjoyed the warm but often short-lived presence of solar maximums as much as we can.  HYT has been offline for quite some time (April to be precise), and looking back it was quite a sorry year for the website.  I literally posted three edits, and only a few more updates.  I can’t blame the ridiculous nature of last season, of which was skiing epic Hatcher pow was the norm. All that needs to be said is HYT will be up and running all winter, delivering our local flavor of talkeetna ski culture.

It’s been a surreal few months for me.  I’ve started a business with B Vaughan, Erin’s created Palmer’s newest yoga and wellness studio, friends have decided to put down roots in Palmer and in the mean time, our community of skiers and riders keeps getting stronger and stronger.  I’m stoked for this winter.  Stoked not just for the usual desire to ski, but because Abroham will be back from Missoula in December and has been filming and shooting in the meantime, B Vaughan will be making his first full winter stay in Ptown and will be seen regularly crushing PBR cans and shredding pow, and our friends, the Hodenflowers are back from an Alaska winter sabbatical in Mammoth and will now be sharing the mountains with us.  The usual suspects will be around, and true to form, J Phelps has already stacked 12 months of skiing, including two pow days since august…lucky, persistent bastard. Me, I’m trying to stay more refined this year, enjoying the two wheel shredding as much as I can until I can’t stand the white room temptations any longer.  I’m getting damn close to breaking down and throwing on the boots. All the calls from friends asking about the snowbird and lane aren’t helping. Eddie..stay strong.

Maybe I’m holding out because I’ve been doing a fair bit of biking this summer, but way more pump track riding and dirt jumping than ever before.  Most folks don’t get in to DJ (Dirt Jump’s for those not in the know) when they’re over 25, but I’ve been having the time of my life, sharing session with friends and reconnecting with family.  My brother and nephews have been riding a lot too, and I think I’ve spent more time with them than ever before.  Not trying to sound cheesy, but considering the crappy weather and my heavy workload at Ptrails, it’s been one of the most fruitful and humbling summers I’ve ever had. There’s just something so great about being able to call up your brother, and just share an hour or two session at the track.  Yes, we both suck, but it’s more about sharing an experience, and to be brutally honest, it’s about finally connecting on something real for the first time in nearly 30 years.

While I could go on executing my eloquent mountain prose, I’m going to cut it short, stop trying so hard, and tell you about this edit I just completed. I slacked off a bunch last year on edits, but my plan is to make as many as possible this season, and to keep em fresh.  We’re not MSP here at HatchYourTrax, but we’re just glad to help keep the stoke up!  This edit is a compilation of some summer clips and a welcome to WINTER.

Hit play and enjoy!

In event news, we’ve got two awesome shows coming to the Bike and Ski shop in the coming weeks.  First off, is the one, the only, Andrew McLean.  Kind of a lame buildup there but I’m not aware of any rad nicknames for Andrew.  How bout Mean McLean, or Wildman of the Wasatch?  Maybe The thunder of the chunder?  Ah, who cares, I’ll go on.  The Friends of the Chugach are having a fundraiser at the bear tooth and Andrew, being the awesome guy that he is, has decided to come up to Palmer and do a slideshow of his trips.  The event will be held at Backcountry Bike and Ski on Friday October 26th, and tickets will go on sale October 15 for $10 dollars.  Proceeds go to help fund AVY forecasting and reporting in our area!  Definitely a worthy cause to attend!  There will be social beverages available and further donations will be accepted. Seating is limited to about 50 people, so when tickets go on sale, get em early.

Andrew McLean – Alaska Family Values
Where: Backcountry Bike and Ski

When: Friday October, 26th at 7pm
Tickets for sale at Backcountry Bike and Ski on October 15th for $10 dollars

Next, on November 10th, we’re stoked to be working with Backcountry Bike and Ski and the Telemark Skier crew to bring you Josh Madsen’s newest tele-flick “Let’s Go.”

Let’s Go! introduces viewers to the Telemark Skier Crew, a high-octane group of freeheel skiers in search of the perfect turn. The group itself is comprised of filmmakers, photographers and writers who have collaborated on all aspects of this film to bring it to life. They even serve as the ski talent in the film. The movie blends appearances from the Crew, a first-of-its-kind athlete/content creation team, which includes the likes of JT Robinson and Kjell Ellefson, along with performances by innovative freeheelers like Kate Hourihan, Tony Gill and Andreas Sjobeck.

“Let’s Go! brings you into our world of living on the road and searching for the best telemark turns on the planet, Madsen says. We found powder in Norway and filmed the first ever Double-Cork 1080 on telemark skis. It was an amazing year!” In scenes both on and off piste, the film showcases the sport’s most avant-garde moves in the deep powder and in the park.

Now, as awesome as all that sounds, the best part of the film is that a majority of the backcountry shots were shot in Alaska.  And, if you couldn’t tell from the trailer, they weren’t shot in Valdez, Haines, or Southeast.  Yes, the Telemark Skier crew bucked up, toured their asses off and shot some sick footage in the Talkeetna backcountry.  Stoked to watch this one on the big screen. The best part of this event is that it’s a fundraiser to support local freeride and mountain biking in our community.  Proceeds from the show will go to support new mountain bike flow trails at Hatcher Pass.

LET’S GO! – A Telemark Skier Film
When: November 1oth, at 6 and 8pm
Where: Backcountry Bike and Ski
Tickets go on Sale at Backcountry Bike and Ski on November 1st.  $12 presale, $15 at the door.

Other than that, I’m out of good news.  Bring on the snow, wax up the skis, and get ready for a great winter in the mountains.  See you out there!

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