Snowboarding with 907 Snowcat 3/30/12
31 Mar, 2012
It’s been an incredible season of firsts. First Baker Banked Slalom, first heli, first backcountry turns in Alaska and now my first cat day of snowboarding. When I first arrived in Valdez, I met Nate from 907 snowcat and decided that a day of cat boarding would be a great way to start the Tailgate AK experience. I ended up joining in with a really great group of snowboarders from Alaska and Sweden. We had seven of us total for the day.
907 Snowcat is running full day snowcat tours for $325 for tailgaters and it guarantees you anywhere from 8 to 13 runs for the day. Heli access you are constrained by weather while snowcats won’t be. So definitely on a questionable weather day, snowcat will keep you on the mountain during the weather. Plus you get a fun ride up perfect for snacking between runs.
The morning started out bluebird and sunny skies so we headed up in the cat to get to Mid Mountain where we’d be staying above for the day. Our warm-up turns were in Bowl #1 which offered a bit more mellow pitches for getting our powder legs under us. It was really breathtaking with the Port Valdez in the background and fresh powder waiting for us.
One of my first runs. Pure powder, my line and total stoke.
Right after, Phil coming down right next to my line
Martin from Sweden may be a marine biologist but he rips it up on his Jones splitboard. Caught him mid-ollie in this shot.
Guide Nate straightlining the powder
Our group shot for the day. We had Nate (guide and owner), Matt, Phil, Cedric, Malin, Martin, Mike and myself for the day. A mix of riders from Alaska, Sweden and Washington. All snowboarders (except for Nate) and a lot of Jones boards in the mix!
A couple days ago the 907 Snowcat crew made it to the top peak at 4795′. It’s pretty incredible to see a cat go that high (where heli’s go) and deliver up a lot steeper terrain for the ride down.
We headed up the peak, it was surprisingly a heart pounding ride up! I opted to keep my eyes inside the cat and was glad to not look at the view till out on the very top. Nate guided us through where to stand, strap in and where we would ride down. From the top we could see the clouds coming in so we knew we would have a couple runs up there.
Myself at the top with the Port Valdez in the background
Malin ripping it up on one of the steeper sections. You can see the light starting to change for the day.
As the afternoon was winding down, the snowflakes were falling heavier and heavier each run. Visibility was low but the soft powder beneath your board made every ride worth it.
Malin from Sweden ripping it up in the powder
Phil getting a huge wheelie out of his board in the powder
Matthew snowboarding by braille in the afternoon
Cedric (on the left) and Phil (on the right) riding down in the snow
Cedric in a sea of white powder
Mike showing a little bit of Never Summer in the snow
At the end of the day, we started making our way down the mountain. We got in a couple lower mountain laps which were great but definitely the low visibility meant not riding further down in the valley. Plus the snow was more dense, wet and heavier down lower.
We met up with the cat for the final ride to the bottom and took this group shot of all of us (and driver Russ) on the 907 snowcat. Really great crew for the day!
We ended up making 15 runs, a new record for 907 Snowcat and really had a great day of riding with a good crew of people. Definitely looking forward to more shredding!