After 3,000 grueling miles over a 5-day period covering Idaho, Alberta, British Colombia, the Yukon, and Alaska, we finally arrived at the fabled Thompson Pass in Valdez, AK. Described as a mecca for backcountry riding and skiing, this area produces terrain and conditions second to none.
Several years ago, a group of core riders decided to organize an informal event at the top of the fabled Thompson Pass, and subsequently the Tailgate Alaska event was born. Since then, Tailgate has become the premier backcountry snowboard event, attracting some of the world’s best riders.
The scene up here is awesome. It’s all about camping on the pass and riding with world class boarders on steep Alaskan terrain. As you can imagine, living conditions can be harsh. Fortunately we are set up with the best tailgate rig imaginable: the winterized First Ascent Airstream, two snowmobiles, and a generator.
For the next three weeks we will be riding in the Alaskan coastal ranges. From Tailgate we travel southeast to Haines, AK, and hook up with FA ski guides Reggie Crist, Tom Wayes, Kent McBride, and the SEABA helicopter operation.
Current conditions are sketchy, avalanche danger is considerable, the sky is overcast, and folks are hunkered down, (some more comfortable than others) but this is par for the course up here. AK is nothing short of a waiting game, and one big weather event changes everything.
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