The request was from a UK family looking for a 2 – 3 week adventure during the UK Easter Break. With teenage children often hard to please, Dominic knew he had to find something that would keep everybody engaged, providing as many new experiences as possible. They loved to ski so if this could be included alongside other activities that would be a bonus. Furthermore, the challenge was to include some beach time as the family were in dire need of some warm sunshine to break up the relentless UK winter. With this in mind, Dom knew that the key was to keep them fully engaged throughout the trip by including adrenaline inducing activities and as many surprises as possible along the way. It was also important to make each member of the family feel there was an experience that was designed for them specifically. After brainstorming ideas that included Iceland, Scandinavia and Morocco they established that the trip would need to go further afield. As Dominic delved further, he established that the whole family would love to see the Northern Lights, so this became a focal point of the adventure.
The idea that ensued, was to combine Alaska, which would offer them the Northern Lights, skiing and winter adventures, with Hawaii, providing that much sought-after sunshine and beach, with some adventure of its own. The family flew from London to Anchorage in Alaska and were collected by private plane at first light and flown into Talkeetna to meet with Rob Sheldon, son of the legendary Alaskan bush pilot Don Sheldon. Over a cosy brunch with Rob at the climber’s mecca - The Talkeetna Roadhouse - they ventured forth into the towering peaks of the Alaskan Range by helicopter to stay at the indescribably remote and spectacular Sheldon Chalet. The goal was for the guests to witness the ultimate Northern Lights experience and the location of Sheldon Chalet at a latitude of 63 degrees and elevation of 6000ft, means that the troposphere is some of the thinnest on the planet making this one of the greatest places on earth to experience the Aurora Borealis. The adrenaline was kept flowing through the days as the family hiked and ski toured across the Ruth glacier and Dominic organised the first ever visit from the chalet to land at base camp on Mt Denali as he had noted that his guest was keen to learn more about the stories of the climbers who had ascended to this peak. This spectacular location marked the start point for ascents of North America’s highest peak was the perfect place for the ultimate picnic lunch cooked up by the chalet’s chef as the guests chatted to modern day climbers camping out on the snow ready to make their own, daring ascents.
After 4 days up in the mountains, it was time for the next adventure. Arriving back in Talkeetna, a plane was fueled and ready to whisk the group off to one of the world’s top heliskiing lodges, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. Staying in Moose Hall, the owner’s private home located on the edge of a frozen lake provided the family with total privacy. Olympic gold medal downhill skier Tommy Moe took the guests under his wing for 5 days of the most incredible heli-skiing through the Tordrillo Range.
Arriving back into Anchorage it was time to head from some warm sunshine. Flying directly from Anchorage into Hawaii they stayed at Four Seasons Hualalai on Big Island in the wonderfully private beachfront Villa Makaloa. The youngest member of the family was a huge Jurassic Park fan so a flight to Kauai was next on the agenda. Because the island lacks in hotels, Dominic had organized a private villa in its own private cove, with daily surf sessions with a private surf guide. To create an epic Jurassic Park experience, an outdoor cinema screening of the movies was organized for them on the first night. Helicopters arrived the following morning to show them the epic scenery from the movie, with their guide regaling the family with stories from the shooting of the movies. Private barbecues on the beach, with a final screening of the third movie at the outdoor cinema was the perfect end to this chapter of the trip.
From Hawaii the family began the journey home with one final stop in LA. Sticking with the Hollywood theme, they stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel and had a behind the scenes tour of Universal Studios and Warner Brothers before ending their adventure in style with specially arranged access to a film premier at world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where they mingled with the stars on the red carpet before the show and partying with the stars backstage at the after party. A showstopping end to the trip.