Tailgate Alaska 2015 wrapped up on Thompson Pass, completing the eight annual edition of the now legendary big mountain festival.
The legend of Thompson Pass riding isnʼt just hype, according to snowboarding legend Jamie Lynn who rode in the area around basecamp, “Itʼs like taking 100 powder days and combining them into one run.” Bryan Iguchi agreed, “I had the best turns of my life.”
Riders from 16 countries descended on Valdez, Alaska on April 3rd for the ten day long event – and were greeted by the best snow conditions Alaska has seen in recent memory – and in the history of the event. In addition to direct access to the peaks that tower over basecamp, Tailgate Alaska had free daily snow science classes, speakers, an FM radio station (The Weagle 90.7 FM), an 8 man rescue team, on site medics, special parties and events.
According to event founder, Mark Sullivan, “ This year marked a new high point for the event in terms of snow conditions and access to snow safety education. On blue days, riders went out in 2-6′ of fresh snow and on down days they were treated to multiple daily classes, ensuring all participants went home having ridden the best peaks and snow conditions of their lives – but also a little bit smarter on how to responsibly access the backcountry.”
This year, Tailgate Alaska introduced a number of new events during the ten day festival. These included the Valdez Banked Slalom race, Knight Rider Racks Tandem
Slalom Snowmobile race, a Wizard Stick Slalom, Alaska Vs. Canada Tandem Snowmobile race and Goal Zero and Traeger Grill Campsite Showdown.
These events will be documented in future episodes of the In Short video series.