Frozen: AK in 2011

Tripping with the Black Diamond crew...

Photo: Juan Valdez

Photo: Juan Valdez

By Juan Valdez

Applying the Stem Christie turn method is not meant for Alaskan descents. But as of last week, the infamous turn was put into practice often on the blue ice slopes around Valdez.

» Photo Book: Juan Valdez’s Tripping in AK with BD Gallery »

A crew of skiers converged atop Valdez' Thompson Pass at Alaska Backcountry Adventures to test next year's lineup of Black Diamond skis meant for AK-like assaults. Featuring the GigaWatt (135mm underfoot) and the all-mountain, rockered AMPerage (115mm underfoot), Black Diamond is stocked with new, sweet sticks for 2011-12 to dominate AK-style terrain. Yet no assaulting, dominating or "testing" occurred despite the random appearance of Seth Morrison, who was in town to film for TGR. Nevertheless, TGR cancelled their Valdez trip due to the worst snowfall conditions in the last 30 years, according to ABA guides.

Finally, though, snow starting falling this past weekend and the past few days, giving stoke to those partying at Tailgate Alaska and putting a weather hold on the World Extreme Skiing Championships.

Stay tuned for coverage of Tailgate Alaska, W.E.S.C., and Valdez snow conditions, as is live and present from Thompson Pass.