Tailgate Alaska: 907 Snowcat 4/8/12
09 Apr, 2012
The past couple days in Alaska have been “down days” when the weather comes in and you take a break from the mountains till the snow piles up and the sun comes out. It was a good break and time to figure out the next plan of attack. A couple of the Flow guys mentioned a day of snowcat and I was really happy with my first day with 907 before Tailgate Alaska began so I mentioned all of us heading up for the day with them. Eventually it grew from a couple of us to almost a full cat of people we knew who wanted to spend a day shredding. Plus the weather finally cleared and delivered a perfectly warm bluebird day on the mountain.
Our crew for the day comprised of Kevin and Donny from Flow, Joseph from Evo, Peter and Jimmy who are under my wing at Tailgate, Gilly who does everything, pro-snowboarder Kevin Jones and his fiance Danielle, two skiers who I forgot their names but were super nice, Rasmus from Chuckbuddies, Gabe Smith who is competing in the Freeride Championships, the guides (Susan and Ryder) and myself. It was a full snowcat of rad people.
We started the morning on the mellow slope, checking out what the avalanche conditions were for the day and getting a feel for the snow. We soon found out with the foot of new snow that mellow terrain was slow moving and the steeper goods were needed.
Gearing up for laps
Peter shredding his first lines of the day
First lines on the mellow stuff before heading up to steeper terrain
Our second run was steeper and required stopping at certain points to gather the group. It also offered up some rock drops for those willing to get air.
Gabe Smith getting air off a natural kicker
Mix of skis and snowboards
For the afternoon, we headed over to bowl #2 to get to the top of the peak. Definitely the best view of the day and amazing to be up so high on the snowcat. It was pretty rad to be up there again since last time it was overcast and cloudy during our shred time.
The best part of today was today was about snowboarding, just ripping up the mountain and having fun without all the other worrysome filming/photography/getting the shot parts.
Stopping at a safe point with the group before dropping in.
Our afternoon runs offered up a lot longer terrain and we had open powder turns to ourselves. Here’s Donny and Joseph from Flow shredding next to me.
A look at some of the terrain we were riding. Here’s a couple of the boys shredding down to us.
Pro snowboarder Kevin Jones was part of our group with his fiance Danielle. They just ripped it up.
Rasmus from ChuckBuddies on his ChuckBuddies snowboard in the pow
Kevin Addy coming down the line
My favorite runs were farther along the ridge, we were able to get some really fast steep turns before cutting down to more mellow terrain. I learned on my first run that when the sluff comes down, you ride away or out of it. Nothing broke on us despite the higher avy danger but we were also pretty careful throughout the day.
Shot of myself on the mountain
Gilly shredding down
At the very end, meetup spot for everyone laughing and catching up about the run
Today was a really good day, the weather was great and the runs were really really good. Each time I strapped in early and followed Ryder out to the next stop to get first lines. I loved it. Seriously, such good snow and people we were riding with.
There are few times when you have a group of girls who rip up the mountain. Today was one of those days. We had Susan our guide who ripped, Danielle (Kevin Jones better half) who ripped and myself who I think held my own.
Danielle on a long heelside carve
This was the view for the last run of the day as I followed Gilly down
Towards the bottom of the last run, we got to ride through some brush and natural bumps/jumps. Here’s Kevin Jones airing off the tiny pillow.