Flow Tailgate Alaska: The joys of a down day

Words: Graham Mueller
Photos: Aaron Gotthardt

Flow Tailgate Alaska just turned into Mountain Sky Hotel Tailgate at the 32° Lounge and Grill. Outside the sun has been replaced by clouds unleashing flurries of flakes. Forget about helicopters, route finding on foot is a nightmare. Think flat light sucks at a resort? The consequences are even bigger in the backcountry. Crevasses, cliffs, streams – no guiding lights, no rope lines and help is that much farther away. Saddle up on a barstool and order another round. 

Guns are possibly required for every Alaskan to own and carry at all times. Sure seems that way from the boom of shotguns and crack of clay pigeons echoing through base camp. Ever shoot a Desert Eagle .50 caliber hand cannon? It sure makes a beer can evaporate. Similar to firearms are fireworks with a smaller boom but fun for the whole family.

The area around base camp is also home to vast natural wonders. Worthington Glacier is a national Landmark situated a mile down the road. Its ice caves and cerulean glow attract visitors from around the world. It’s also one of only a few glaciers butting up against a highway. Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls drop into the Lowe River near Valdez. Yesterday some base jumpers dropped its surrounding cliffs. But I wouldn’t recommend just anyone try that on a down day.

These and many more wonders await you in the greater Valdez area when the weather doesn’t cooperate for shred. Get out and explore or stay in and restore. With any luck your sanity will still be intact when the sun returns.

Probably the most popluar activity on down days would be drinking. The crew getting it on below.

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