Celebrate and explore human movement in this multi-episode series featuring dynamic people who use their bodies and minds to meet the challenges of a world in constant motion.
In Part 2 of this episode, we get to know Points North Heli-Adventures owner Kevin Quinn a little better. Born in Alaska, he grew up ski racing and playing hockey, eventually suiting up for pro teams including the Hershey Bears and Indianapolis Ice. When the travel and fighting became too much, Quinn hung up his skates and became a “professional ski bum”: He opened Points North, which is now the largest heli-ski operation in the United States.
“I’m stoked to be part of what we have here,” he says, “and honored to be able to turn people on to the best days of their life.”
Myles Lewis, Travis Weaver and Kyle Railton of CrossFit Avalanche and CrossFit Blizzard are indeed ready to experience the best days of their lives as they prepare to hit to the slopes. But first, they need to go through safety training.
“When you get out to these places up here where there’s no control, you’re up for a higher level of danger,” Lewis explains. “Avalanches or just terrain, there’s no ski patrol around you. So it’s all on you.”
On the final day, the men are preparing to ride some of the toughest slopes in Alaska.
“A big part of this is just mental toughness,” Weaver says.
Railton goes into the final day a bit nervous. He watches with trepidation as Lewis and Weaver make their way down the mountain. When it’s his turn, he starts off well but gets caught up in a layer of fast-moving, loose snow.
“I do recall being upside down, and I was sliding upside down,” he says. “And then I felt a bit of a weightlessness.”
In the end, the crew made it safely through the heaviest runs and now has some time to reflect on the past few days.
“You can kinda take a lickin’ and experience stuff and enjoy it,” Railton says. “Maybe CrossFit’s not going to lead you to heli-skiing, but it potentially could. It just opens up doors for you—you’re generally prepared, ready to rock and roll.”
Video by Jason Smith and Carey Peterson.
Additional reading: “Free to Fly” by Chris Cooper, published Feb. 17, 2014.