Bluebird Skies, Pillows of Powder and Massive Airs Over Natural Obstacles Mark this Historic Day in Snowboarding.
Tailgate Alaska officials announced that Travis Rice and Vera Janssen are the winners of the Recco King of the Hill competition, held for the first time since 1999 outside Valdez, Alaska. The competition, staged in the legendary Chugach range, enjoyed bluebird skies and pristine pow in the Bro Bowl at Thompson Pass. Hundreds of spectators cheered each rider as they dropped from the top of the mountain into a field of soft, untracked snow and launched impossible airs over treacherous exposure.
Rice was ecstatic after being announced the winner. He earned the King of the Hill Sword, heli time from local operators including Alaska Backcountry Adventures, Alaska Rendezvous Guides, Valdez Heli Ski Camps and Valdez Heli Guides, as well as the unqualified respect of his peers. Travis donated a portion of his proceeds to the community in the ballistic afterparty held Sunday night at Valdez’s Land Shark bar.
"Conditions were all time and the venue was spot on for a long overdue AK shred contest," said Rice. “Everyone there threw down - it was a great day for snowboarding." Epic it was. The one-day event not only enjoyed perfect weather and snow, but also participation by some of the world’s most renowned freeriders – past and present.
"This event brought together riders from many generations, from legends like Farmer and Basich, to top pros like Rice and Landvik to next generation riders like Scotty Lago and Aaron Robinson," said Mark Sullivan, event organizer.
"It has been snowboarding legend Nick Perata’s goal to bring back the legendary King of the Hill competition," added Sullivan. "It was incrediblly rewarding to help him bring the event to fruition."
The Recco King of the Hill was held over a seven-day "holding period" to ensure optimal conditions, although the competition was held on the first day on the event schedule. Riders faced off on the legendary Bro Bowl hill for a 3 run battle challenging a riders strength, technical line ability and freestyle skills.
The Recco King of the Hill is made possible by a network of partners: Recco, Valdez Alaska, GoPro, The North Face, Ski Doo, Alaskan Brewing, Flow Snowboards, and many contributions from the local Alaskan community.
For more info, visit tailgatealaska.com and click on the King of the Hill button.