Glacier Camping in Alaska

While one MSP crew was heavy-producing at the Air Factory in Whistler, another detachment found themselves on a much different venture. Cody Townsend, a regular to the Tordrillo Mountains (see: the Crack), had an incredible camping zone in mind that he’d been spying for years. After weeks of planning we flew in several glacier-plane loads of food, gear, filmmakers, and soon-to-be-stinky veteran shredders Mark Abma and Zack Giffin. As well as a full keg of beer, which didn’t last too long thanks to the three-day storm that whopped us the evening of our arrival.

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After what seemed like endless digging, we were left with the deepest snow most of us had ever seen in our lives– nearly ten feet of preposterously deep pow. The game was on. The first few days were spent tip-toeing around the massive peaks and figuring out how to negotiate the glaciated terrain while assessing stability.

But as cold Northern Lights-filled nights bonded the snowpack, soon the boys were charging, hiking up gorgeous faces full of spines and straight-lining pinner couloirs,

slowly easing their way up into the higher and huger lines. The film crew had their hands full, with a dedicated two-man drone team capturing some preposterous spine angles unlike anything I’ve seen yet. For the second half of the trip, Zack had to leave and was replaced by Canadian guru Austin Ross, who quickly played catch up just as the boys started to eye up the true prize of the trip– The Wizard. A massive face that lay directly above camp and just beckoned to be painted with lines. As a two day weather window lined up, the boys left camp at 2 a.m. to hike up the face to the summit.

Austin Ross, Cody Townsend, and Mark Abma hiking up "The Wizard" in the middle of the nightThe rest will have to be seen in the film, but suffice it to say it was a stunning morning on all levels, truly one for the books. This was a perfect and dramatic way to wrap up one hell of a filming season, with some big mountain shredding drone footage that should surely move the needle. Now, with the ski season in the bag, its time for one last shoot, in a desert land far, far away. Things are about to get real weird, ladies and gents, and I can’t wait.

— Ben Sturgulewski, MSP Director

Special thanks to everyone who was on this trip, and made it possible: Big Agnes, Jeff Graceffa, Jason Ebelheiser, Zack Barrett, Ryan Peterson, Reuben Krabbe, Zack Giffin, Austin Ross, Mark Abma, Cody Townsend, and Ben Sturgulewski.

For more on this trip check out:

Cody Townsend Instagram

Mark Abma Instagram

Austin Ross Instagram

Photo Gallery