Valdez: Springtime in the Snow!

In Adventure, Alaska Travelgram by scott

Hey, I just got back from Valdez. Boy, they know how to have fun in the snow. I took my Nordic skis and cruised around on the trails at Mineral Creek (Pictured below right, with Todd Wegner). Then–onto a snowmachine and out to Thompson Pass (Pictured above. That’s me in the foreground with Snowmachine Guru Chris Thoma in the lead). It’s an epic winter playground–that’s why two big events camp out there at the Pass. Get ready for some fun in the snow: 

1. Tailgate Alaska. April 1-12, 2012. These folks literally set up camp at Thompson Pass. You can stay in town at the Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn, or camp out at the pass…

The big draw for Tailgate is the awesome backcountry skiing/snowboarding–more than 1.6 million acres of skiable terrain! Last year, more than 100 snowmachines were on hand–many to haul skiers and boarders up for a run. But there also are several heli-ski operators and ski-trac operators to help folks explore the backcountry.

Around camp, backcountry education plays a central role, with snow-safety classes, beacon searches, and snowmobile-riding/sled maintenance clinics.

Learn more about Tailgate Alaska. 

2. Mountain Man Hill Climb. Another Thompson Pass event, in conjunction with the Valdez Snowmachine Club. Scheduled for April 20-21, 2012, this two-day extravaganza features different races up the mountain for different snowmachine classes. Visit the site for more information. 

Finally…moving away from the snow…

3. Valdez Fly In and Air Show, May 11-13, 2012. Last year, radio co-host Erin Kirkland attended with her family and had a GREAT time! Helicopter rides, experimental aircraft demonstrations and all sorts of antics regarding things-with-wings. Short-take-off competitions, aerobatic demonstrations, remote beach fly-outs and more. We don’t have a lot of information on the details, but here’s a website: and a Facebook page:

All three of these events are definitely “deep track” Alaska adventures! Back country skiing, uphill competitive snowmachine demonstrations and an eclectic get-together of crazy flying machines. That’s what puts Valdez on the map. Be there!!

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