Alaska isn’t for everyone. Not only does it take legs of steel and audacious courage to stand atop an AK face and drop in, it also requires knowledge, forethought, logistics, and a rock-solid crew. The margin of snowboarders equipped to handle what’s up there is as narrow as that for error, and Elias Elhardt is among the rare breed that can hold his own and then some. But big-mountain snowboarding is not a solo endeavor.
For each shot of a dude descending an unfathomable spine, there are five behind the scenes, often more. And in a place where miscalculation can mean catastrophe, one’s mental state is heightened, and the strength of bonds formed is expedited and enhanced.
Elias understands and appreciates this. He believes that snowboarding is about humanity—the people he meets and the friendships he makes—because those are the truly enduring aspects of what we do as snowboarders.