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|Deep thoughts from a deck chair aboard the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry.|
[Teton Gravity Research recently wrapped up filming in Alaska for their new movie. This is the final part in a series called AK Chronicles that went behind the making of the movie. This story was written by TGR athlete Griffin Post.]
The Alaska Marine Highway Ferry, which took us from Haines, Alaska, to Bellingham, Wash., might have been the perfect place to ponder three months in Valdez, Alaska. The ups and downs, the strikes and gutters -- there was no shortage of poignant moments. The ferry chugs along, and until it arrives in Bellingham, there's nowhere to be, nothing to do, nobody to appease. Which is pretty nice after a season spent either coming up with a plan or trying to execute on a plan. Let's recap on some of the moments from this winter of filming with Teton Gravity Research, many of which will likely hit the cutting room floor when TGR goes to put the finishing touches on their new film, "The Dream Factory," which will debut in the fall. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.
February 9: Crew held at Canada border for five hours in the middle of the night. Several claim first bivy in customs parking lot.
February 14: First day on sleds in Valdez. We get stuck more than we ski.
February 16: We punch up to the alpine, hike for an hour, clouds come in and we get skunked.
February 17: Repeat.
February 18: Repeat.
February 19: Repeat.
February 20: With the bootpack now a staircase, we finally get the light. Claims of "all time" ring out.
February 24: First heli day with the place to ourselves. Even though it's negative 25 degrees, I'm not sure I'll ever have a better day on skis.
February 26: We wrap the first heli session and decide to check out the nightlife in Valdez. A female partygoer tells the crew on the dance floor, "At least you guys are trying."
March 11: We are the first guests at the new Tsaina Lodge. We all quietly question Tsaina's management for allowing us to be the first guests.
March 24: Two weeks of high-pressure with Valdez Heli Ski Guides. Amazing skiing. Tsaina lodge still standing. Mission accomplished.
April 11: We haul several hundred pounds of gear, food and supplies 15 miles onto the glacier, our home for the next few weeks.
April 17, 11:07 a.m.: A crew member falls off his sled at the top of an icy hill climb, sled begins to roll.
April 17, 11:11 a.m.: Sled still rolling.
April 17, 11:17 a.m.: Sled miraculously starts and is generally unharmed.
April 25: Hike some of the best lines of the trip and decide that perhaps the finest skiing in the world is reached on your own two feet.
April 27, 9:45 p.m.: Wrap party. Find Karaoke establishment. Perform "The Final Countdown."
April 27, 10:06 p.m.: Perform "Seek and Destroy."
April 27, 10:23 p.m.: Perform "Don't Stop Believing."
April 27, 10:42 p.m.: Perform "My Girl."April 27, 11:05 p.m.: Perform "Build Me Up, Buttercup."
April 27, 11:12 p.m.: Decide it's time to leave Valdez.