Choosing to drive to Alaska is committing to an adventure, there is no telling what mishaps may wait. When one sees this sign it has only just begun. One blown trailer tire, a full drive train re-lube, and a couple bad wheel bearings later we completed our journey.

Photos & Captions: Jeff Hawe

Like hundreds of other shreds Jeff Hawe has heeded the call of Tailgate Alaska. This everyman pow mission forgoes the elite amenities of bourgeois backcountry retreats yet keeps the steep and deep front and center. The result is heavy riding parking lot with epic terrain and epic peeps. Even Chyna is in the mix. Keep checking back for more of Jeff Hawe’s Tales From A Tailgate Crasher.

Winter along the Alcan highway is a desolate scene. For hundreds of miles the only structures are boarded up or abandoned businesses and homes.

Mile couple thousand and... lost track a while back. The roadside scenery is killer.

Yukon Territory is a place of interesting characters and straightforward blunt culture. Hence the name of this store.

Mt Blackburn welcomes travelers from the south. This sixteen thousand foot peak will get you antsy to be out of the car and riding.

This sign says it all. Arrival at the premier festival in the world’s freeride Mecca, Thompson Pass, Valdez Alaska.

Home sweet home! Above camp sits the peak known as Python, a classic Valdez run and pretty easily accessed.

Alaskan beer sponsors Tailgate, and supplies plenty of tasty brews to wash down the BBQ's. Brew master Tyler came up from Juneau to share the fruit of his labor.

Daily Salmon and potato BBQ's are a staple supplied by Tailgate. You gotta be on time though as the food literally is gone as soon as it hits the table with this crowd.

The peaks stack up deep on Thompson Pass in all directions. When the clouds lift and the sun is shining it becomes obvious why riders flock here every year.