Monday, November 15, 2010

Southward Bound

With the general public punter ski season come and gone on the North Island I headed south to see what the snow was like in the Southern Alps. With memories of a ski attempt on Mt Cook two years prior it was safe to say that redemption was on the mind. Getting the right weather and crew to do it was another story. It had snowed and then gotten and stayed warm so my first day on the Tasman I just wanted to go for a look on foot to see where the snow line was and try to get a view of the conditions up high. I departed at 10pm well knowing that the slopes down low had not had a freeze in several days. The solo recon mission turned into a 16 hour glacial moraine death march, that involved a lot of effort for little reward and the bonus of a strained knee.

It was quite comical actually, at one point I found myself putting my crampons on in the dark to descend down the steep, loose dirt jumble of glacial moraine wall. I couldn't find the easiest way down it due to the darkness so the easiest solution was to down climb what appeared to be the best way. On return later in the day it was evident that my route finding was a bit off the mark.

After a heli lift up the Grand Plateau and a couple of days on skis it became evident that the big lines in the area would have to wait. One thing was for sure though, anytime hanging out above the Tasman Glacier is good time. It is just a phenomenally beautiful place!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Allow for delays on major North Island roads.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Up North Bro

Time for a change. Up north to where volcanos loom over hot spring laden beaches. ok, maybe they don't loom straight over these steamy beaches but there are beaches which they loom above.

I came to New Zealand this year after purchasing a used car at auction over the internet. The seller picked me up at the airport, drove me to a bank and then gave me the keys. It seems to be working out, the key word being SEEMS!

I am working on Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano with commercial operations. The landscape high on the mountain is bizarre. There is a lake in the summit crater steaming away at 90F with ski slopes all around it and some leading into it. You aren't suppose to go into it as it is a very sacred and unique eco-system. I however forecast that if a floating lounge chair presented itself that it just may be my ticket to enlightenment.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shadoman III

The newest of the shadowman series. Heli, speed fly, sledalicious!

Shadowman III by air from john mletschnig on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Lone Wolf

I love skiing things that don't get skied very often for new challenges can equal great reward. The grass may seem to be greener and it often is. As much as the skiing can be good in any prime location it is the journey of working through the ambiguity of something that isn't familiar that makes a descent.

Perhaps it is this drive which has earned me a nickname.

During the last week of the heli season i had a chance to ski Paranoids, a steep Couloir in the Full Support Valley. Paranoids was one of these sort of lines which i have been eluding to, a new challenge to "feed the rat," as one English guide and client Guy, who was there to ski with me would put it. Every junkie needs some adrenaline... right? Thanks Steph for putting up with us, you crushed it!

Howl !!!

I then traveled on my lone over to Valdez for some touring with the Kiwi posse of Shane, Ruari and company. We had a day on RFS and a day the Iguana Backs before it was totally evident that spring was upon us. I found myself a day later catching up with Jorge, an Argentine which i had roomed with on the Ice Axe antarctic trip the previous November, then it was off to Girdwood for more catching up with friends, sled necking and speed flying.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Right down there... yep, that looks good.

There is something about glacial roll overs and a deep maritime snowpack that make for absolutely amazing lighting. Very gradual transitions from light to shadow, all with unreal snow of course.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Watch your sluff!

Shadowman's continued journey of ripping the Chugach.

South Funkytown, Full Support, South Bubbies Island and the Cordova Glacier.

Lots of snow moving at the start of the week, sort of a clinic on advanced ski cutting techniques you could say. All in all it was great skiing all across the zone.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Helmet camera footage of Shadowman skiing the Chugach.

Just figuring out how this all really works, much room for growth. enjoy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ice Box

Over the past several weeks I had been looking at a particular route through the Ice Box. Finally it all came together and the link up was complete. All the new snow over the past few weeks has done lots of good things for the glacial high country!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Round Two

Fist shot is High above Eat the Worm, Ice Box and the Wave.

A mid week top off of a foot of snow with little wind yeilded more fantastic skiing. Flying out of the zone at the end of the week it really seems like spring has arrived with large cumulous puffers slowly moving past the ridgetops. Though now it is a snowy slury at base and the zone is getting crushed once again.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Wizard Rings lit up.

Twenty feet of new snow, good stability and sun. Three amazing ski days!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Storm

It tends to snow a bit at times in the Chugach. Over the past 16 days between 4 -5 meters of snow has fallen in the high mountains. Skiing just in the trees of the Orca backyard was deep, over the shoulders by skiing terms and we're talking only between 2000' and the ocean. Getting out into the zone yesterday was like flying into a different range, snow encased everything and the skiing was DEEEEP. Its snowing again now so we will have to wait a bit more to reap the full benefits.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Press Start.

First shot: Ben getting the goods on Pontoon's Film Wall.
Here we go, its heli time once again!

Skiers holy sacrifice.

Jamie and Niall ready to ski from Mt Eyak's summit, touring in the backyard.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Home again, Utah.

Eric Wright skiing into Bountiful off of the Grandview ridge.

Gaining Cardiac Pass in great vis.

Out on the ranch. No Name Bowl in stellar conditions, Thousand Peaks Ranch.

Hello again Utah, so good to see you. My time in Utah seems to be in brief stints these days, at nearly six and a half weeks straight I remained within the states perimeter, settling into a duplex which was quite homely for a wee while there. It really is a never ending road, too many mountains, too little time. It was great living the city life for a while, catching up with friends and day guiding in the Wasatch and the Uintas.
A long avalanche cycle plagued the ranges of the inter mountain states this early winter. Persistent Hoar, the weak layer responsible, yes, that's the actual nomenclature for the weak snow that slides where failing on. Too true a name, too true. This translated to lots of low angle lovin while on skis.
U T A H.. still there. To ALASKA...