Tailgate Alaska + Flow World Freeride Championship Finals 4/11/12
13 Apr, 2012
After a day off to rest, it was time for Tailgate Alaska and Flow Snowboarding to host the Flow World Freeride Championship Finals. The final location was determined late the night before so even riders didn’t know what they would be battling out on. The end result was heli and sled access to the backside of Python and the top 10 riders (two women and eight men) with one run to prove themselves as the ultimate winner.
It was a busy morning to get debriefed and set up the media list for the heli ride to the contest venue. I ended up getting a sled ride up thanks to Big Mountain Taxi. Weather was cooperating and instead of a overcast day, it turned into a perfect bluebird day for everyone. The finals was harder to get to than the qualifiers so there was less of an audience but those who made it up were stoked to watch it all go down.
Riders after the drop off at the bottom so they can view the terrain and wait for the next heli ride to the top of the mountain.
The first to drop was Donny Mills, a Valdez local and creator of his own snowboards. We watched as some sluff almost carried him over a wall of rocks but he managed to stick it out and get to the side in time.
Next up was Brandon Reid who stole the show…seriously within the first minute. He did a huge backflip off this rock and stomped it. His run was so smooth and clean, he was my choice for winner of the contest and ended up being the choice of the competitors as well. He won the show and took home the $10,000 prize.
Micah had a really solid run and went for a huge drop off a smaller rock. It ended up leading him into a rock below and he tomahawked but made it out without injury.
Mikey Marohn made his run all about freestyle flare and had the most amount of airs for the contest.
Scotty Lago had a great opener off the cornice but ended up tomahawking halfway through his run from catching a rock.
Sammy Luebke maneuvering between the rocks for his run
Cody Beach had an awesome grab but ended up landing too close to the rock below and fell during his run
Max Zipster getting a nice slow carve in on the finals run
Yoko going huge off the bottom rocks. She ended up crashing in the flat chop area but her run was solid before that. She placed second for women.
Emily Weer had a really smooth solid run with a couple airs. Her last rock drop was a good way to end the contest. She ended up taking first for women and received a free heli day.
After the contest ended, everyone hung out for a bit at the watching area while the snow safety team finished up their stuff and prepared to take us down the mountain. We had a lot of media and wanted to make sure everyone made the last run down safely.
Once we got the go-ahead, it was time to shred the terrain. I caught this photo while riding of everyone coming behind us. Pretty awesome to have such a good crew riding down at the same time.
Riding alongside Scotty Lago on the ride down
Aaron shredding (he doesn’t sideslip all the time)
All the media and riders crossing the highway to load up the cars
Loading up the vehicles for a ride back to basecamp