My friend and I went back to AK again this spring for more touring around Valdez and thompson pass and decided to hit tailgate and see what thats all about.
We arrived plenty early for tailgate and got in a SSWEEEET pow day at Aleyska when we arrived, followed by about 20 hours of me being both ends sick from food poisoning - dont eat airplane turkey.
Drove our rental van out to Thompson pass and set up a little snowcave/tent fly action then waited out a day and a half of chicken feathers.
Had a couple of bacon grease fires
Then we crushed some little pillows for a while until the sun came out
And when the sun came out.........it stayed the fuck out. In fact it didn't go away, by the end we were scraping the barrel for unbaked snow that wasn't a 4 hour approach.
And thankfully - the first day it really broke just so happened to be the day that we were booked in the ship.... Ended up with a good crew and got on some nice wide spines like berks hip, also got on the hammer, and I forget the name of the first line we did, but its in my video - the knife dge we hiked. Berks hip
Hanging with the bird
As addictive as the heli is, it was over and we were left with straight sun for the rest of our time there, without a breath of wind the first few days
Explored down the worthington glacier just picking off good snow - away from the brapping back down the valley
Got some decent lines down there, also tan lines - it was hot hell.
Then, we decided to hit the north side of the berlin wall. Climbed up:
And met Tony Mann at the top - who told us that we can't ride down because they were going to use it for the comp they hold at Tailgate. Some disagreements were expressed, mostly about how this was never told to anyone, and the fact that they dropped in on us and started digging pits while we climbed. In the end I decided to let it slide and take the path they wanted us to take down - the riders left most chute, which was holding solid windboard and a couple of cliffs at the bottom......motherfuckers. Maybe Im still bitter, so for the rest of the day we drank beer and did laps until the sun told us to get lost.
We had a good trip all in all, ended up leaving tailgate early due to snow baking and freshies falling around girdwood/turnagain....did a couple of days there before heading home. Only thing I didn't get accomplished was heading out to the books, just too much distraction with the good weather and an inability to find a sled bump vendor willing to take me there (BIG MOUNTAIN TAXI COME BACK PLEASE!
And now a couple of other pictures and my video - and in case you don't get the picture - GET TO ALASKA.
Went up the ridge to little matterhorn
Checked out the train tunnel the only down day we had before hitting pillows
If you don't go to Alaska this year, you'll be one year older when you do - Warren Miller