How to Backflip Out of a Helicopter into Bottomless Powder in Alaska's Backcountry

by Greg Colquitt | December 30, 2015

“Set goals and achieve your dreams!” We’ve all heard it a millions times.

I can see Tony Robbins’ mug as he belts the mantra out to a crowd of a hungry attendees. We all gobble up this information, but hardly ever put it into practice. Why? Why is it so hard to set goals for ourselves when we know that the most successful people in the world actively set and achieve their goals on a regular basis? Their success is the perfect track record. Well, skiing is no different. We tell ourselves that this is the year we will ski 100 days or that 2015 will be the year I teach Mom to ski! Whatever the goal is, too often we finish empty handed and end up promising ourselves that it’ll happen next year. There is a way, however, to turn these goals into “been there done that” victories, and, as it turns out, it’s not that hard.


“I want to backflip out of a helicopter into bottomless powder on top of a mountain in a remote part of Alaska”

Whoah there killer. We went from teaching Mom to ski to jumping out of helicopters. That’s the dream that I and every skier dream. Oh that’s the point? I see. The most important part of this is that the dream is big. From there, we can break it down. What step must you take before you can achieve your main goal? What about before that one? Before you know it, we’re going to have the whole elephant chopped into bite-sized pieces and you will be dazzling yourself with the amount of dreams you’ve seized in the mountains.

Let’s begin!

After every step, ask yourself, “What do I have to do before I do that?” We’ll start with the dream again.

“I want to backflip out of a helicopter into bottomless powder on top of a mountain in a remote part of Alaska”

What must you do before you do that?

Be incredibly nice to your pilot

What must you do before you be incredibly nice to your pilot?

Board the helicopter

What must you do to before I board the helicopter?

Fly to Alaska

You take care of the rest…

Say goodbye to your family at the airport

 Book a flight to Alaska

Book a backcountry heli-skiing trek online

Plan to take off a week from work in early March

Prepare your husband and kids for what you’re about to do.

Demonstrate a backflip off the large cliff at your favorite resort on a big powder day.

Practice backflips on small jumps on powder days

Learn aerials in a private lesson (such as a cool place like Woodward @ Copper Mountain, CO)

Do a backflip on your trampoline

Buy a trampoline

Read about how the US Ski team uses trampolines for aerial practice

Buy a year’s subscription to Powder Magazine

Get a job.

Take a shower.

What’s your goal?

Remember, it’s the seemingly unattainable goals that are the most fun to break down and ironically the easiest to attain. You now know the process and it is simple and attainable. Above all, write it down! If you never write your steps down, you’ll never see them achieved. So get to writing, and as you do I’ll leave with one of my favorite quotes…

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”  ~Henry David Thoreau.

Translation: If your dream is built on backflipping out of a helicopter into bottomless powder in Alaska’s backcountry; that is what it should be. Just take a freakin shower.

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