Even helicopters have their limits in the wild, mountainous interior of Alaska. But ski planes—small airplanes equipped with skis for landing and taking off on snow—can go anywhere. Four years ago, one such plane dropped off snowboarder Travis Rice and a team in remote Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. He spent 28 days camping and splitboarding in the 3.3-million-acre preserve while filming Jeremy Jones’s snowboarding adventure film Deeper. “You’re truly isolated out there—there is no one else,” Rice says. “It was kind of a bit of an altered state, maybe a bit of a wake-up call for me.”
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is part of a World Heritage site encompassing 25 million acres of land—one of the largest international protected areas on Earth. Rice says it took him a while to adjust to being cut off from our digital culture for so long, but in the end, that disconnect was part of the beauty of the experience. “It was a really special trip for me because I’d never done anything like that,” he says. “And it was some of the best snow and terrain I’d ever ridden.”
Travis Rice may be the best all-around snowboarder on the planet, whether he’s catching extreme air on groomed slopes at the world’s top resorts or pioneering first descents in remote big-mountain backcountry. He was executive producer and starred in the eagerly anticipated The Art of Flight in 2011 and took snowboarding competition to a new level when he created the Red Bull Supernatural last season. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Travis Rice's Gear Pick: Headlamp
"I always take a good bolero tie. The tie itself has roots as a soup catcher; it’s like this printed napkin. The bolero has a purpose—it closes the collar and has a sense of decorative style. Either that or a headlamp. I always travel with a headlamp in the backcountry because you just never know."