By Philip Peterson II
Special to the Turnagain Times
I have a workday ritual, perhaps even a compulsion, whenever I have a little down time I check out the Alyeska Photo of the Day (www.alyeskaresort.com click on photo of the day). I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes I catch myself checking multiple times before they have even uploaded the latest photo. The P.O.D. (Photo of the Day) is like a window in my office. Sometimes I get spectacular views, other times its smiling faces, we get the shots of people tearing it up on powder days, and we get the kids making their first turns. These “day in the life” shots give us a quick glimpse into the general vibe of each day. When one of us makes the page it is like achieving a little celebrity status—if only for 24 hours. It enables the injured, the sick, the work stricken, and those unfortunate enough to live in the Lower 48 the opportunity to experience a little vicarious ski pleasure through us.
In a way, Photo of the Day is like a high school year-book. But instead of braces, we are immortalized in lime-green day glow jackets, or insano matching Oakley prints, too tight one year and too baggy the next. These shots set us up to laugh at ourselves in years to come. Perhaps Alyeska should compile all the Photos of the Day and release them as a commemorative year-book. I would of course draw little hearts around all my favorite photos and mustaches and horns on the ones I don’t like. The P.O.D. in essence is a daily celebration of our mountain community and all the wackadoo individuals that make it up.
I have noticed that this season the P.O.D. has undergone a bit of a change. The powers that be have been posting many photos from photographers outside the Mountain Hosts department. This in itself should be a good thing; more photographers make for more diverse photography. However this just isn’t the case. Photo of the Day seems to be evolving into a personal glory board for just a couple of people. Now these are outstanding photos of great skiers, but they are the same skiers time after time after time. Where’s the excitement in this, you don’t page through a magazine that has the same two models in every single shot. In my humble opinion, our ski community’s Photo of the Day has been hijacked by a few enterprising individuals.
So the question becomes: what can we do about it? Should we grab our axes, pitch-forks, and flaming torches, find the top brass and demand justice? A simple email to the mountain hosts (email@example.com) will no doubt suffice and can easily be passed on to the powers that be. Maybe we should give this little maneuver a codename to save them time, “Operation Snapshot Emancipation brought to you by the Photo Liberation Front or something along those lines.”
To wrap it up I’ll leave you with a really gross offer from former Mountain Host and new Med school student, Tiffany Kelly, “If Photo of the Day is excepting shots from outside Alyeska, I’ve got some great ones of pulling the brain out of my cadaver that people might enjoy.”
By Andy Morrison
Special to the Turnagain Times
Orange and purple alpenglow lights the mountains and sky. Skis glide effortlessly on smooth groomed trail. Wetland meadows impassable in summer open in front of us. Dogs lead their owners bounding off trail. Smiles glow from rosy faces and frosty hair. Glacier Valley settles into the snowy silence. None of it taken for granted.
Trails around Girdwood are a highlight of living and visiting here. Multi-use is the name of the game with cross-country skiers, snowshoers, skate skiers, dog mushers, hikers and our furry friends sharing the way. Of course, we have a few snowmobiles and snow cats out there too. These trail grooming rigs are essential to the fun.
The winter trail grooming effort is somewhat of a mystery even to those of us out there making it happen. We hear stories about the chain saw wielding pioneers, thanks Stumpy, Don and all. See snow cats in the night, thanks Alyeska. Helicopters flying lumber, thanks Keith. And, someone keeps the gear fixed up, thanks Paul and Mark. We volunteer to make the trails enjoyable for everyone. We do not ask for much, but we can use your help.
Thanks are great, complaints, um well appreciated, but your donations could help the most. Local, state and federal trail funding is nice. However, the logistics can be (read are) challenging. Trail pins are good some places but we are different here in Girdwood. We like it when things work without getting too complicated. So here is my sales pitch.
Us volunteer trail groomers would like some new toys for our grooming effort. A special attachment for our www.yellowstonetrack.com groomer would allow grooming and tracksetting in one pass. Also, bridges need replacing, stumps need removing and you get the idea, the list goes on.
Girdwood, Inc. is a local 501 (c) (3) non-profit that supports worthy projects in our community. Donations are tax deductible, and funds managed by respected citizens. A donation made to “Girdwood, Inc. Grooming Fund” will be managed by the Girdwood Trails Committee for the benefit of all trail users. Thanks for your help, and enjoy the trails. Here is the address: Girdwood, Inc. Grooming Fund, PO Box 1102, Girdwood, AK 99587
Andy Morrison is a trail groomer and member of the Girdwood Trails Committee and can be contacted at (907) 783-3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org .