When you think nothing else matters, winter does.

Winter, is both loved and loathed by many. Love it or loath it, however, it is still very much important; it matters. To that end, our mission is to share with you various matters that pertain to winter. As snowboarders we think it's important, and whether you're a winter sports enthusiast, or just looking for a stop-gap between summer activities, we hope you think it matters too. After all, the Ying does not exist without the Yang...


Tailgate Alaska Day 5 - Not on my ship


Wednesday in Thompson Pass turned out to be a down weather day. Even though it looked promising when I woke up, which compelled me to get my gear together and walk over to the helipad, it didn't take long for the window to blow over and for clouds to roll in. When I got the official word from the ABA guys that Wednesday was going to be a day for “window shopping” (i.e. waiting for windows in which to fly), I decided it would be a good opportunity to drive the RV into town to get gas and a few supplies.

Tailgate Alaska day 4 - It's better to be annoyed than dead


I woke up on Tuesday morning to what looked like overcast skies. Even though I didn't think the helicopters would be flying, I decided to get geared up anyway. I put on all my snowboarding stuff, my climbing harness, avalanche transceiver, and loaded some Clif Bars and water into my pack and made it over to the village area. This was a good decision as it happens, because what looked like clouds was actually valley fog which was quickly burned off by the sun. By 9AM, the skies were starting to look bluebird and the helis were getting ready to fly.

Tailgate Alaska days 2 and 3 - Welcome to Valdez


I woke up early on day two of my Tailgate Alaska adventure, but since Anchorage is a whole four hours behind Ottawa, it felt a hell of a lot later than it was. First on the agenda was to finish the paperwork that I needed to do to get my rental motorhome on the road. While I was at it, I met up with a few other tailgaters that were renting their own RVs and also making the drive to Valdez later that day. Paul, Rob, and George from New York in one RV, Justin from parts unknown in another. I hadn't even made it to Valdez yet and already I was making friends, and each one of those guys seemed just as stoked as I was to get out to the frontier land and do some snowboarding.

Tailgate Alaska Day 1 - winning at failing


Earlier this week, I went to Mont Tremblant for the third try at passing the freeride teaching component of my CASI level 3 instructor's certification but didn't meet the standard yet again. The reason this time was that it was judged that I hadn't pushed the students hard enough during my lesson. Whether or not they left as better snowboarders was irrelevant; apparently the alliance has become more about creating return customers than about making better snowboarders. In spite of the overwhelming negativity which I was feeling toward CASI, I decided to put that all behind me and focus on what is important: snowboarding. I got packed up and jumped a flight to Anchorage, the launching point for my Tailgate Alaska adventure.