Tailgate Alaska, the popular backcountry free riding festival, is branching out this winter, with the first ever Tailgate BC right here in Revelstoke.
“Revelstoke offers something that’s at a really high level and there’s only a handful of places in the world that compare to that and half of those are in B.C.” organizer Mark Sullivan told the Times Review.
Tailgate Alaska started in 2008 as a small gathering of backcountry enthusiasts in Thomson Pass, the near the heli-skiing mecca of Valdez, Alaska. Last winter, almost 500 people came out for the 12-day long event. For this year, it has secured a title sponsorship deal from Flow Snowboarding and it’s now officially known as Flow Tailgate Alaska.
Run by former Snowboarder Magazine editor Sullivan, the event involves pro riders, media and recreationalists all hanging out together for a few days. It features snow science classes, beer garden, and a multitude of riding options. It is open to skiers and snowboarders.
Base camp for the Tailgate BC will be near the Great White North restaurant just west of town. That’s where the parties and classes will happen, but in the meantime, attendees will have the option of sled skiing, ski touring, heli-skiing with Eagle Pass Heliskiing or heading to Revelstoke Mountain Resort if inclement weather comes in.
“For me that’s really exciting because people won’t be sitting there twiddling their thumbs for five days in a row,” said Sullivan. “That’s happened at Tailgate.”
For heli-skiing, Sullivan said Eagle Pass will be offering small packages so people can give it a try for only a few runs. He said locals could potentially take advantage of this of this offer.
“What we try to do is promote people to choose their own adventure,” he said. “It’s an a-la-carte menu with options.”
One of the goals, said Sullivan, is to educate people about the dangers of the backcountry and make sure everyone is riding safely. This will be done through daily snow science courses.
As well, Jeremy Hanke, a former professional snowmobiler and now avalanche professional, will be giving lessons on mountain snowmobiling.
“Hopefully everyone will leave Tailgate BC a little bit more knowledgeable about the backcountry,” said Sullivan. “That’s my goal – I want people to learn something.”
Tailgate BC takes place from Mar. 8-12, 2012. Tickets are $199 and go on sale on Friday, Oct. 21, at www.tailgatealaska.com.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the event can e-mail Sullivan at Mark@tailgatealaska.com.