I drove to Alaska solo, only knowing one person in the entire state, Mark Sullivan. And without knowing his phone number or where he was staying, hopefully I’d run into him. And I did. Mark and Nick Perata (www.mtnops.com ) would be my ever-gracious hosts on this journey that was Tailgate Alaska. The first day I showed up they put me up in this luxurioius accomidation in the parking lot of ABA. (www.alaskabackcountry.com ) complete with a woodstove, barbeque and 2 gallons of suerkraut:
Lucky for me, the sun popped the first day I was there and a 7.3 minute roop on my snowmachine (up the buried section of the Alaska Pipeline) got me here. The sled access from Thompson pass is unlike any where else I’ve ever seen, so if you plan on coming (which you should be) bring your snowmachine, or at least a $5,000 heli budget.
The ride in the heli is almost as fun as where most operations will take you for your first run. Here’s part of the Berlin Wall through the heli window, the next mountain to our right would be Goodwill’s. Named after Matt Goodwill who took the 80+ft mandatory cliff to Stompsville back in the 90’s. All of this stuff is visible from the highway/basecamp and a short jaunt for the eager skinner/splitboarder.
Nick Perata and Mark Sullivan about to drop on my first heli run ever!
Just another sunset……on an epic pow run at 9pm.
Though the heli is obviously the best form of access, snowmachine is the most proficient. You just need a crew that has similar interests and an ever-present trust. Here’s Mark Sullivan stoked on still being alive after a dicey run down the Berlin Wall. This day Mark, Rob Kingwill and I made a short (3 minute) sled trip to 20 minute hike to get on top of the famed Berlin Wall. Something people pay upwards of $200 to ride!
The Coolest Tailgate Party Ever!!