Ride Journal

Snowboarding adventures.

Tailgate Alaska: Day 12 - A little goes a long way


I woke up on Wednesday morning to the wonderful sight of bluebird skies and the feeling that I would be blowing the rest of my heli budget. However, since I only had a few runs left, I had to wait until the afternoon to get the rest of my time in to give priority to the full day groups. In the meantime, I planned on making use of the Big Mountain Taxi service as much as I could. With the new snow that fell on Thompson Pass in the last few days, plus the wind transport, it was certain that there would be some good pockets of snow to slash in the mountains.

Tailgate Alaska: Day 11 - One and done


It was still snowing on the Pass on the morning of day eleven of Tailgate Alaska. The clouds had rolled in and it was impossible to see the peaks of the mountains so it seemed unlikely that the heli was going to fly. However, Happy, Badger, and Patrick were milling around at the base thinking that the clouds would break and that we would get to go up. So Justin and I put our names on the fly list for the day. I was hoping that it would be a good one to use the last half day of my heli time. I got lucky, the clouds broke and the decision was made to scramble the helicopters.

Tailgate Alaska: Day 10 - Don't hate at Tailgate, snowskate until the weather breaks.


I woke up on day 10 of Tailgate Alaska to total greybird skies. It seemed unlikely that anything was going to go down, even Big Mountain Taxi was grounded; the light was really too flat to see any terrain features whatsoever. I've learned, from watching the movie “Lines”, that when in Alaska, you should expect strings of days like this. The trick is finding something to do on them. That became my mission, to find something to do on the middle of Thompson Pass when everyone is either too tired or hungover from the previous night's festivities to want to do anything.

Tailgate Alaska: Day 9 - Easter Showers


The NOAA forecast for Valdez on Sunday called for snow showers in town, and snow in the Pass. This time they were right because I woke up on day 9 of Tailgate to see snow falling to the ground. On the one hand I was glad since the Pass could use a little bit of cover to bury the tracks from the past week, but on the other hand I was a bit disappointed because it meant I couldn't go snowboarding. However, since it was Easter Sunday, I thought I should go to town anyway to call my family and wish them a happy Easter. While I was at it, I decided that Sunday was a good day to bathe, and since the forecast was calling for showers in Valdez, I similarly forecast a shower of my own.