Iris Lazzareschi knows how to work it in AK. Roosting on her warm up run for a day with Rendezvous Heli Guides.

Words & Photos: Jeff Hawe

Tailgate has officially ended. It went out with a bang in the form of a two-foot storm and three full bluebird days that followed. Many tailgaters weary from weeks of tough weather with only a couple short windows pulled the plug and abandoned ship in the face of the storm. The faithful remained and the reward was oh so sweet. Heli budgets were spent and lines that had been eyed for weeks were ridden. That is the fickle beast that is Alaska snowboarding, it's a game of patience and when practiced well the payout is worth the wait. Come with no schedule and be on time for the best days of snowboarding in your life.

Rob Kingwill has been a part of Tailgate since its inaugural year. With a sled left up in AK year round he's dedicated to returning each year.

Kyle Miller boosting out of the bottom. The terrain is steep and little rolls on the surface become airtime easily.

Birds eye view, 360° of massive peaks holding long runs. If the journey to AK is in the works, save some money for Heli-boarding because its worth it.

Closing BBQ and the few dedicated souls who stuck it out. In addition to being rewarded with prime conditions there was extra food at the BBQ, fringe benefits.

Rocky pinner chute and Rob Kingwill handling it just fine. With a thin snow pack lines like this become much more intimidating at the top.

Mike Basich stepping into the whiteroom late day. Flying with Rendezvous we scored some great lines.

Will Brommelsiek won a little Rendezvous flight time with his title as King of the Hill. Here seen charging a spine, making those precious heli bumps worth it.

Mike Basich has been doing AK his way for years now. As dedicated as he is to DIY shred he still knows that heli time after two feet of fresh is something one has to say yes to.

The lonely bonfire on the last eve. Goodnight Tailgate Alaska, until next year.