Alaska Ski Adventure turned permanent

After a kayaking trip to Mexico had fallen through, I had a plane ticket to use. In the winter of 2011-2012 Alaska was having a record year for snowfall. When I caught word of this I knew exactly what I needed to do. So I re-booked the Mexico ticket to spend 10 days in Alaska. It was a bit intimidating coming up to an area that I knew nothing about and no one there. I knew there was a hostel and that I knew someone that could pick me up from the airport and drop me in Girdwood. That was enough for me. On my way there, I had made it to Denver from Crested Butte but while I was there I had slipped and fell on ice loading my bags into the car. As I was laying under my truck with a dislocated knee, tears started to fill my eyes as reality was starting to set in. NO! I’m on my way to Alaska, somewhere I had dreamed about skiing all my life, and now I just blew out my knee. It was an hour before I had to leave my friends house in Denver to catch my flight. She helped my get back into the house, we threw some ice on my knee and I started to think about my opinions. Cancel the trip? Re-schedule it? Or just go and hope for the best?

Meg Smith Turnagain Arm Alaska

Meg Smith Turnagain Arm Alaska

An hour later and a stop at the pharmacy, I was hobbling throughout the airport on my way to Alaska. I was determined to build my knee strength up and be able to ski on this trip. While reaching out to some friends in the lower 48, I found that a co-worker of mine from the Arkansas river was living in Girdwood. I contacted him and he gradually took me in. I was so relieved and grateful! After a few days of taking care of my knee, I decided to go ski. I had a knee stabilizer and ACL brace on. It was a bit painful and I’ll probably pay for it in my older years but I did it. It was stable and I knew I was good to go. I was constantly icing my knee, doing physical therapy and enjoying my time. Everyday after that was a powder day, like 2 foot powder days … and I skied them all! I was blown away with the quality of the snow and the steepness of the mountains. When it came time to leave, I did not want to go anywhere. I was as close to heaven as I had ever been. This is what I had dreamed about doing my whole life, and there I was doing it! So I didn’t leave. I cancelled my plane ticket home and stayed in Alaska. Being in Alaska was the happiest that I had ever been. I am glad that I followed my heart and continued to be determined enough to follow through on something I had been dreaming of. I decided it was time to go when March came and I knew I had to be getting back to Crested Butte. I left with the intension of returning for skiing in Valdez in April. This time though I planned to bring my truck and all my gear with me.

Ragged Top, Girdwood Alaska

Ragged Top, Girdwood Alaska

My guide Nick Langowski

My guide, Nick Langowski.

Nick Langowski skiing Alaska

Nick Langowski ripping a sweet line down the face into the abyss.

Meg Smith skiing Alaska Turnagain Pass

Moon, Mountains, Amazing skiing … falling in love with Alaska.

Turnagain Pass sunset Alaska

Turnagain Pass sunset Alaska

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