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[Editor's note: Here on ESPN Freeskiing, we are hosting Teton Gravity Research's Almost Live series -- sneak peeks into footage taken for their fall 2011 release, "One for the Road." The author of the words below is one of TGR's newest athletes, Griffin Post. Click the tabs above if you've missed any of the last episodes.]
It's been expressed, ad nauseam, the difficulties of filming in Alaska this year. But, by mid-April, things were definitely on the upswing. Heavy precipitation at the beginning of the month left the mountains caked with snow, avalanche danger was manageable, and the weather was finally starting to cooperate. That's when Daron Rahlves arrived.
His timing couldn't have been better. He got to Alaska just as all of the stars -- snowpack, terrain, and weather -- were aligning. Whereas the rest of Teton Gravity Research's crew had been stressing out for the better part of a month, wondering if it was ever going to happen, Rahlves got to cut right to the chase. "This year was my best AK trip hands down," Rahlves said.
I caught Rahlves for the last couple of days he flew, and it was obvious he'd been charging hard. "I've always liked the wide open and fast runs, but I started to look at those more technical lines that demand some studying and backing off the throttle," he told me. The last run of this episode is the epitome of technical skiing -- steep spines over exposure. "On that one, making it down clean was rewarding enough."