Friday, October 30, 2015

Voile Ambassador and New Website for New Company Name!



I am excited to have a new website for Remarkable Adventures LLC. (Formerly D'Alessio Mountain Adventures, LLC)  Guided Alaska Backcountry Ski Touring trips and courses.
Please use the new website: RemarkableAdv.com



I am also excited to join the Voile Manufacturing team as a sponsored product ambassador. Thank you Voile for the skis and gear. Voile makes high quality gear for the backcountry and best of all it's made in America, right at their headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can check out their gear at voile.com

Winter is full-on here in Girdwood! The skiing over the last month has been awesome! If you are interested in guided backcountry skiing, instruction or heli-skiing this season inquire now. Spots have been booked but there is still availability.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More Alaska Range Mountaineering Courses

I finished my last two work trips for the summer. I did a second 12-day mountaineering course and another 6-day course for the Alaska Mountaineering School. These trips both went into the Pika Glacier in an area known as Little Switzerland, it was a great end to my season. Now I've got to enjoy what we have left of the Alaskan summer, leaves are already changing which means winter time is hopefully not too far off.

I had several skiers in the group so we made a few turns in between class time.

I woke up in the middle of the night, stuck my head out of the tent and had a nice surprise.

We had a large group with people from all over. Switzerland, California, China, Montana, El Salvador and 3 locals in the mix from Anchorage. We spent one day traveling down through firn line onto the glacier ice. Traveling through firn line offers some real heads up crevasse navigation and once on a dry glacier there is a whole other set of hazards to manage. 

Traveling back up off the ice and onto the snow, we rope up again once off the ice and onto the snow, right at firn line. The Royal Tower offers a nice back drop to the sun cupped summer snow. 

It was a very nice last night to our trip. The Trolls got some nice alpenglow in the middle of the night.

We toured around and made it back to camp around midnight. Alaska is the "land of the midnight sun" and I'd have to say it is quite convenient to be able to get long days in the mountains. 

Here is my 6-day group waiting for our plane with lots of gear. Another AMS group hiked and pack-rafted all the way back to Talkeetna, they left their extra gear and trash for us to fly out. It took them 4 long and hard days, once we were picked up it took us only about 30 minutes in Talkeetna Air Taxi's turbine Otter. Last year I led a trip that hiked out to the Petersville road, it took us 3 long and hard days. Till next time Alaska Range! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Mountaineering Courses

Summer time work for me is back into the winter environment teaching mountaineering courses with the Alaska Mountaineering School. For my first trip I had the pleasure of training a military group interested in advancing their skill set and getting more comfy in a winter environment.

 On the summit of Peak 6,200' in the Alaska Range. 
A perfect snow climb with an impressive view.

The view! Denali in the distance with the tooth range. The Eye Tooth and Bear Tooth on the Mooses Tooth massive in the middle. Broken Tooth on the right.

Class time at camp. 

We went for a long walk down the glacier on a perfect day. The tooth mountains tower over others even though they are an entire glacial valley away. 

Camp set up with the evening sun still high in the sky. 
Behind is the 6,200' peak we climbed, straight out of camp.

Between trips I had my cousin Kathryn and her husband Jeff visit me. It was awesome to show them around and why I love living in Alaska so much. They loved it up here. We went fishing with my buddy Nick one of the owners of Drift Away Fishing, who I would highly recommend. It was a good time, especially when Kathryn brought in this King Salmon keeper!

My next trip was a 12-day mountaineering course which flew into the Pika glacier, also know as Little Switzerland in the Alaska Range. We got stuck in town for 4 days of un-flyable weather. In town we were able to cover lots of skills to ready us for the glacier. From knots and roping up for glacier travel to avalanche awareness, weather and geology presentations. When we made it in, our patience paid off with perfect sunny blue skies... everyday. 

This course was heavy on the skills. Here we taught a crevasse rescue scenario, then the students gave it a go. We also covered proper rappelling, complete with a "third hand" backup and knots in end of the ropes. 

Looking down to the Kahiltna Glacier with the Dungeon and the Dragons Spine in the foreground to Mt. Foraker. 

Portable classroom with a view. Here we discuss Leave No Trace ethics and Injuries/illnesses found in the big mountain environment. We talked about the signs and symptoms, treatments and most importantly prevention to: altitude, frost-bite, hypothermia, immersion foot and the powerful sun on glaciers which can give you snow blindness and serious burns. 

Early morning light, time to move back to our basecamp near the airstrip to fly back to civilization. 
Burgers, beer, shower and live music await.

On the last day I went skiing with a few students, the other two rope teams found a route up to Pika Pass. You can see them heading up the hill before the crevasses.

There is not much else better than skiing in June with smoked salmon sticks!

Summer snow on the Pika Glacier. 

On our last night we had a surprise wedding show up. They got married and set up camp to spend the next days with good weather to go climbing. It's not everyday you see a bridal dress out here. 

The excellent weather kept up through our last night of sleep on the glacier. 
Now I've got some time off to enjoy what the Alaskan summer has to offer before going back to winter and teaching another course. Until then it's all about mountain biking, pack rafting, climbing and hiking. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Skiing and fly-in Trip

Winter 2015 was one of the most successful and busiest years for ski guiding work for me. Which is good because I like showing people a good time in the mountains around my home in Alaska. After work comes play, I was lucky to be able to squeeze in some good personal days between ski touring and heli-skiing and finish it off with an incredible remote trip with two good friends. Feeling happy, healthy and motivated for more. Here are some recent photos from this spring.






Thanks for the sweet shots Ben!



Helicopter's made easy access to the goods this year with low/no snow below tree line. 
Sign up now for 2016 with Chugach Powder Guides, seats are already filling up! Request me as your guide if you would like. 

Happy group visiting from Boston and Vermont.
Even though New England had one of its best snow years, they were glad to be here, 
these guys know how to have a good time!

Many sunny powder days this year despite being the lowest snowpack in recorded history for Turnagain Pass.
Even when it's "bad" in AK it's still pretty good! 
Guest Steve, from Washington, loving our day. He will be back next year.

Happy skiing in an amazing place.

Kyle laying down artful turns. 

One of the best lines I have skied in my life. 
Not the biggest or the steepest or anything like that, something about it was just really neat.

Good skiing does not have to be steep skiing. 

Need to get back for this one! Definitely one of the best ski lines I have ever seen, just too far out of reach for this trip.

Looking forward to the next remote fly-in trip.
Book with me soon if you are interested in a guided trip next season. Space does fill up.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Winter 2015 and looking ahead to Spring

There is no denying this years winter weather has been abnormal in Alaska. The unseasonably warm temperatures have brought more rain than snow to the low elevations around the Girdwood - Turnagain Pass area. Thing is there is plenty of snow up high to make for good ski days and I have had a great winter so far with lots of good skiing. Sure it's thinner than normal but normal here is a lot, so thin is still a lot of snow!

It's all relative to what you are used to. In Alaska we are used to a generally deep deep snowpack and often stable snow that makes skiing here so famous. In short, we are spoiled. The bottom line is even when it's "bad" in AK it is often still better than anywhere else.

Some people sit at home and complain about the snow while others simply get out and enjoy it. I have stayed busy this winter with the Alaska Avalanche School, Chugach Powder Guides, guiding private ski tours and in between all the work I've had some great days in the mountains ski touring with friends.

This winter I have formed a partnership with Altus Mountain Guides, based in Whistler, British Columbia. This is exciting as Canada also has some of the best skiing in the world and the people are all very nice in my experience. They have put together a trip offering, utilizing me to help facilitate and guide the trip with Ross Berg, owner of Altus. My AMGA Ski Guide certification has paid off again with this partnership. In Canada and Europe you are not a guide unless you are a certified guide. It makes sense, it's the way it should be and someday it will likely be the same in the USA. This trip offering will be under permit through the Alaska Alpine Adventures.

The long sunny days of March are getting me excited for the upcoming spring time. Spring skiing in Alaska is the finest and once April, May and June come it's time for fly in trips to the great ranges of Alaska. I currently have availability for custom ski expeditions, if you have ever thought about going into the big mountains of Alaska and want to learn something new, let me know and we can see about setting up a trip.

Below are some photo's from this winter. Here is proof that it's been a good winter. Complainers will complain, others will enjoy whatever we've got.


Nick on a nice mid winter powder day. Manitoba Mountain, Summit Lake area.
Nick on Manitoba, Summit Lake area - Photo: Greg Stafford.
Nice new A-Star B3 helicopters for us this year at Chugach Powder Guides. Come Heli-Skiing!

My beautiful girlfriend Erin on the Snowbird Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains.

Returning customer Andy on a peak in Hatcher Pass, Takeetna Mountains.

Some gems in the Turnagain Pass area.

More awesome ski terrain in the Turnagain Pass area.

Powder skiing in October 2014.