Written by: Meg Smith
Ever since I was a teenager in junior high I’ve dreamed of skiing big steep Alaska lines. Born and raised just north of Philly that dream seemed pretty far out of range. Sure enough 11 years later I had figured it out and made my way to living in Alaska. Everyday I live here I drool over amazing aesthetic ski lines that are enormous. A lot these lines I look at are extremely intimidating, “don’t fall or you will die” lines.
There is one line on one particular mountain that I have dreamed of since I’ve laid eyes on her 5 years ago when I moved here. To me this is the big Alaskan line I dreamed of skiing my entire life. Even though I really wanted to ski it, I had no idea if I would actually be able to. In fact, as the years went on I doubted it. Over the last 5 years I’ve looked at it several times and just didn’t know if it was possible for me. Would I be strong enough to climb to it? Can I keep up with my partners? And if I am strong enough for that, would I still have the legs to ski it? Can I even ski such a line with fresh heli legs?
February 2nd 2017 – I stood on the ridge line next to Wolverine called Eddies. As we were getting ready to open up Eddies after a storm cycle, I spotted tracks that had just got laid on the back face of Wolverine. I was blown away! I personally had not seen or heard of anyone skiing this and to see those lines was so badass. While I was standing on the ridge, I asked myself again – can I do that? I reeeeally want to but that doesn’t mean I successfully can. I wasn’t sure, asking myself those same questions.
Through the last month, I have continued to go on long and challenging ski tours. Pushing myself to be stronger and stronger, skiing bigger lines and get some sluff management practice simply because that is what is fun to me. I’ve teamed up with a solid crew and skied some new lines in the library, and then had a great day skiing Kickstep for the first time. I was really proud of myself for skiing Kickstep, that was a huge accomplishment for me. Kickstep is no little tour or line. One of those “don’t fall or you will die” adventure skis with a lot of really fun turns. That is literally what my buddy told me radioing to me as I was about to drop. “Hey Meg, it’s good. Just don’t fall or you will die.” Thanks Josh!
Driving home from Kickstep, the boys asked what we were skiing next as we happened to be driving by Wolverine and I was staring at that dreamy face like I always do. It was the right aspect for the current conditions so I said it… “Wolverine – the far back face.”
March 10th 2017 – I very successfully skied Wolverine. We skied fall line from the highest point on the back W/SW face. It truly was a dream come true. 5 years after I laid eyes on it and 5 weeks after I stood on the ridge next to it seriously contemplating if I could do it. That is the first time I have ever had the same feeling I do before I am about to run a class V rapid and realized it is class V skiing. I loved every second of it. True bliss.
Dreams do come true. No matter how far you have to reach just keep going for it!