Generally Alaska is on every skydiver's list of places to jump. I won't lie, it’s beautiful. On a clear sunny day, you can see Denali (Mt McKinley) from 7,000 ft up. To give you an idea, it’s approximately 240 miles north of Palmer, where the drop zone is located. Denali stands 20,300 ft tall. A gorgeous view. On the ride to altitude, you also get to experience glaciers and mountain peaks that stand 7500 ft high. Palmer is considered the “valley” out here, so all around you see mountains. Every year Alaska Skydive Center puts on what is called the “Summer Solstice Boogie”. During this awesome event, you get the option to make a regular, day jump, but at midnight.
One thing to remember about jumping in Alaska is that the weather can change instantly. The famous saying for Alaska weather is “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”, cause it really does change like that. This season was a little depressing though, I must say. We had a ceiling of like 5k 90% of the summer. We actually didn’t jump at all, in August… I don’t believe. Maybe 1 weekend. With that being said, I took skydiving elsewhere as well. A few of us went to Skydive Kapowsin in Washington for a long weekend and met up with some of the jumpers that we met at the Solstice Boogie in June (the otter that the DZO brought up for the Boogie was from KPOW).
However, despite that our season here just ended about mid-October we have begun our annual quest for the endless season. One of the other jumpers (and his wife) and I decided to to to Skydive Arizona for almost a week to get some jumps in. We met another jumper there that was there for the 217-way 3 Point Sequential World Record. Even though I wasn't a part of the 217-way formation, I still got to experience what it was like to be there, and almost be a part of it!
I got to meet A LOT of people that I hadn't ever met before. One person that I was extremely thankful to meet was Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld. I had attended the POPs record in October of 2016 in Perris that he organized (I believe) but never got to meet him. I have spoken with him over the past few months about skydiving as well. He is an inspiration to many. I also got to meet people from all over the world. Russia, Europe, Argentina, etc. The list goes on. The amount of knowledge put together by the individuals that were there is substantial. I sat in on a few of the debriefs of sector 2, which was run by plane captain Solly Williams. This man can pick out everything and immediately tell you why you did it wrong, and how you can fix it. I learned a lot from not only sitting in on the debriefs after jumps, but also from just communicating with the individuals and gaining different peoples perspectives. I am definitely looking forward to going to the next world record and I would 100% recommend attending one.
This was an awesome trip and start to my endless season, however, not what I expected. Skydive Arizona in Eloy is an amazing dropzone overall. I got in a balloon jump then got 4 jumps in Saturday and Sunday. Monday rolled around but the DZ as empty. Tuesday rolled around and I started the morning out with a free fly jump on load 1. And well, I left Wednesday afternoon, so I didn’t jump Wednesday. I spent the day watching the record formations and taking pictures. What a trip.
I’ll be taking flight to Coastal Carolinas here next week and participating in “The Rathole Rodeo”, so we will see how the weather there treats us! The season might be done in Alaska, but I am far from done with my season. Trip by trip, jump by jump, nothing will hold me in my quest for the endless season.
Blue Skies and Let's Chase that Endless Season