Haines, AK 2016: a freeride dream.

A snowboarders dream came trhough.

Last April I made my first trip to Alaska. Alaska Heliskiing in Haines was where I booked and the Funny Farm was the place to stay. Alaska has been a dream since I’ve watched the movie TB6. To be honest, TB 6 to 9 were the origin of my need to take the snowboard to steep, ungroomed terrain anyway. In fact, everyone interested in freeriding should have the whole collection!

Same same but different.

After all the news about an epic winter in Haines, we were pretty stoked to finally arrive at the end of March. But – just as the forecast predicted – it got warm a couple of days prior to our arrival. Good or bad omen? Time would tell. After sitting out almost a week of down-days or too-warm-for-powder-days we got into the helicopter for the first time to have a look at the area. Not nearly as much snow as the hearsay promised, wind and sun-affected snowpack and some damn big slides that ripped off all the snow in their way. Five runs later we knew that we have to wait for the next snowfall, which was luckily forecasted for next couple of days.

Good things come to those who wait.

With a couple of inches instead of 3 feet fresh snow we found some nice runs, but at the end I had to send my buddies home not really having gotten the fruits. With lots of time at my disposal and the experience of last year still in mind, I decided to sit it out and wait. Another storm was forecasted for the coming week and Wednesday and Thursday looked like the stars would finally align. It totally paid of: as the only freeskiers amongst 6 filmcrews we had the opportunity to go deeper into the playground and see the real juice. And we were in for the kill. Those two days made me riding one of my all time gnarliest lines and we could do Tomahawk, the epitome of a Haines trophy line and a run I was dreaming about for years.

I will be back next winter, no question. More prepared, amped and charging than ever.


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