Chris Del Moro breaks the ice in Alaska.
AN ALASKAN WELCOME.
The quest for new surfing experiences can take you to the most amazing places imaginable. Case in point: Alaska. Although more notably known for long days of darkness, aura borealis, snowboarding and events like the Iditarod, Alaska is also home to good waves, great people and excellent beer. With a Karmic stroke of good fortunate Joe Curren, Todd Glaser and I were picked to accompany a group of environmentally driven essay winners on a once in a lifetime Alaskan Brewing company sponsored experience into God's country.
Our short flights North were a great way to get acquainted with our new travel partners; OC shredder Rick Erkeneff, Seattle based U.S Coast Guard Tara Molle, environmentalist Eli Saddler and Washington surfer Mike Wheeler. After descending over stunning mountains and vast estuary systems we touched down in Juneau, Alaska.
Soon thereafter we were picked up by our trip's guide, Ashley (a.k.a Trip Mom) and made our way straight to the house of Marcy and Geoff Larson, founders of Alaskan Brewing Company, the brewery they started way back in 1986. As our crew gorged on delicacy's and beer of the region, Geoff and Marcy explained intentions for running the business as eco conscious as possible, as well as their goals for the companies non-profit organization entitled the "Coastal Code" www.CoastalCode.org. After spending the evening with two of the most gracious hosts imaginable, as well as savvy business owners with a "green" goal, it made sense that the Alaskan Brewing Co. was voted in the as one of the 15 best companies to work for of 2008, by Outside Magazine.
We spent the next day zip lining across a rain soaked forest, mid-day wake boarding under glaciers and the afternoon was spent sampling beers at the award winning brewing facility. Needless to say, we were late for the following morning's scheduled helicopter tour. With luck again on our side, we scored one of the most perfect, sunny days of the whole summer and within no time we had embarked on one of the most breathtaking experiences of our lives. We spent two magical hours zigzagging above bears, white mountain goats, cascading glaciers and waterfalls. As we made our way through the playground of mountain peaks, our captain informed us that we could land the chopper on top of the Alaskan ice field. As it turns out over the span of the last year we were only the second group to do so. To keep things consistent we drank a few beers to settle the nerves and made a safe return home.
[Stay tuned to Surfingmagazine.com for more from Chris Del Moro and Joe Curren's expedition with the Coastal Code in Alaska next week. The waves are just getting good]
Landing a chopper on an Alaska Ice field: Core Score up.