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View Full Version : Skiing with a friend in Alaska...



RedBaron
02-15-2002, 10:18 PM
Alaska can be such a beatiful place to fly, and in the winter, on skis, there are that many more lakes and slopes on which to land.
It was one such beautiful March day, many years ago, I was flying with a friend who also is a guide and has many hours in a Cub,
and we were cruising about, searching for wolves (for this was when you could still plink at them from the air)--and just as we were banging about close to the East end of Rainy Pass, we saw a pack on a moose kill!
They scattered as we poked over low-speed, just in time to see a nice big black fellow, bare his fangs and ask us nicely to go somewhere hot--before scampering off down the trail...
We followed him, and soon found ourselves in higher country, that offered some possibilities of landing. Around a corner, my intrepid friend suddenly dumped full flaps, and landed on a nice slope, zig-zagging between the little spruce trees that populated the hillside. We had cut the wolf off, and as we skied, tacking across the hill, we fully expected to see him waiting to be harvested. We did, and he was, and so I leaped out, and proceeded to proceed with the grim harvest. After all was done, we clambered aboard, and taxied a bit up-hill, so we would have sufficient room....
It's a good thing we did, because just as we became airborne, the powerplant decided that it wasn't going to run anymore. This was unfortunate, as there was trees and a cliff not very far below and in front of us, and we were a good few days and a couple river-crossings from anywhere.
He managed to put it down in what seemed like the last couple inches of open hillside, and I proceeded to dig in the baggage compartment for the fresh set of pants that I thought I'd packed...
It was after this, that he realized, that in the joy and haste of the hunt, he had forgotten to switch tanks, and the engine had an overload of air-rich fuel! Geez.
Many long minutes passed in which we snomachined uphill, round trees, boulders and steep cliff-like apurtures, while I held the tail out of the snow...
We taxied at least a mile and a half--maybe more, before we got back to where we felt comfortable taking off.
By now, I am thoroughly soaked with sweat, and not yet being a Cub owner--much wiser in what things NOT to forget!
Skiing uphill (about a 35% grade), axing down trees that we couldn't clear--all led me to believe that safety doesn't come with many years of good flying, it comes with sweat and having a fresh set of trousers...
Amazing that its the little things that get us right?
To Return...
Andy

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RedBaron on 2002-02-15 23:39 ]</font>

SJ
02-17-2002, 07:33 PM
Good one, Andy!