I don’t remember taking this picture, but I think I like it. Look at that altimeter, I’m up over 9000′. For those of you in Colorado it’s not a big deal because you live up there. In Alaska, Anything over 7000′ is either vertical rock or ice. Most of our communities are within 500′ of sea level because the seasons are so short at altitude. This photo was probably taken in early summer (May or June).
This is the Chugach Mt. Range with Mt. Marcus Baker out the window. It is difficult to differentiate the months because it is snowy-white 12 months out of the year above 7000′. It is not uncommon for me to switch between wheel-skis and Bushwheels 3 times in a week. Summer wheel-ski work is some of the most fun flying. Ski flying is a totally different ball-game than the bushwheel stuff. I have noticed that with the big tires I fly by the seat of my pants, but with the wheel skis there is much more reference to instruments because the visual cues are so poor. For those of you flying off the asphalt on a regular basis, have you ever noticed that the wider the runway is the more difficult it is to judge height? Peripheral vision cannot read the edges of the runway during the flare because they are too far away. On a narrow runway peripheral vision easily deciphers height through depth perception. Now imagine landing on a perfectly white, totally uniform, smooth surface that is a mile wide. The brain is scrambling to determine whether your movement is forward, backward, or sideways, or stopped. There are no visual cues to determine speed, longitudinal axis, direction … nothing. Flat light is by-far the worst, but direct blazing sunlight is the next most difficult to land on.