The premier Alaska heli-skiing and multi-sport operation has launched major renovations to be completed for the winter season.
TORDRILLO RANGE, AK – XX, 2016– Premier Alaska heli adventure operation Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, (TML) is pleased to unveil a major renovation and lodging expansion at its exclusive property on Judd Lake in Alaska’s Tordrillo Range.
This project which will significantly improve operations and facilities is on schedule to be completed in time for the 2017 winter season, marking Tordrillo Mountain Lodge’s 10th anniversary.
Tordrillo Mountain Lodge has partnered with two long time guests to provide the expansion upgrades. TML owner Mike Overcast says, “Going into our decade celebration, we’ll be able to provide additional top-shelf services to our guests, this season. It’s exciting to be able to have so many of our returning skiers and snowboarders get to enjoy all that we’ll have to offer this coming year. Even though every year they tell us it can’t get better, we’re prepared to take it to the next level”.
Overcast and his team are expanding the main lodge by several thousand square feet, including an upscale common room, new lakeside bar, renovated guest rooms and a high-end commercial kitchen, in addition to an upgraded infrastructure program. Also currently under construction are four new deluxe cabins and an operations center for guides and staff. Overcast says, “This is a no-holds barred kind of project. In terms of quality, it raises the bar for the industry, and we couldn’t be more proud of what is happening up here. For me, the support provides the needed capital required to take us into the next decade. Being able to share this with our guests is an honor.”
Complementing the enhancement is a commercial-level internet router system. Overcast says, “This kind of opportunity to have an adventure of this level, stay in remote Alaska and remain connected is a rare opportunity. Tordrillo guests are able to come to the interior and still check in with their offices and families. This is important; as not everyone is able to go off grid for a week, or do they want to or need to.”
American Ski Racer Tommy Moe raced competitively from 1987 to 1998. Seen above, Moe skis a downhill training lap during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan—his last professional event.
On February 14, 1994, American ski racer Tommy Moe carved the downhill course in Lillehammer, Norway, fast enough to beat the hometown favorite, Kjetil André Aamodt, and win the Olympic gold medal. Four days later, on his 24th birthday, Moe took silver in the super G, becoming the first skier born in the U.S. to win two medals in the same Olympics. His smooth, flowing style put him on top of the podium in four World Championships and four National titles in the United States. Moe continued racing professionally until 1998, and after retiring at 28, set his sights on finding balance between family time and working as a backcountry mountain guide.
“The biggest thing for me is just being mindful, looking and seeing how good it is, sharing it with other people, showing them the best day of their lives.” —Tommy Moe
Moe, now 46, relocated to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1994 and is currently employed as a mountain ambassador at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, giving private lessons into the accessible backcountry. He splits his time between the Tetons and the Tordrillos in Alaska, where he also co-owns, operates, and guides at his heli-ski lodge, the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. Ski racer Tommy Moe has always found solace in the mountains, so POWDER recently caught up with him to hear about the transition from champion downhill racer to big-hearted backcountry guide, and how he’s continued to shape his life around creating memories at high altitudes.
POWDER: Where’d you get your start skiing?
Moe: I grew up skiing in Montana at Whitefish Mountain Resort. My dad was a pretty avid skier. I have an older brother, Mike…and skiing’s the only thing we did. My dad—he’d let us skip school on powder days. I remember watching Phil and Steve Mahre back on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the ’80s—ski racing was on TV back then. I knew at a young age that I wanted to make the U.S. Ski team, or be in the Olympics.
Your Olympic gold medal in Lillehammer—did you know you were going to win that race?
I had the mindset that I was going to win a medal or I was going to crash. For me, during that run, everything was in slow motion. I had some good results leading up to that race. I had been second in the World Cup and third, and had some really close wins, and got to Lillehammer in 1994 and thought: This is the time. I might not ever have this chance again. Pedal to the metal, or I’m gonna blow up.
My life changed after that win. I was the dark horse—nobody really knew who I was. All of a sudden, I won the Olympic gold in the downhill, and I’m getting interviewed by David Letterman’s mom, talking to Greg Gumbel, and making appearances. People were were waiting hours to get my autograph.
How did you transition from ski racing to heli skiing in the Tordrillos?
In 1995, the year after I moved to Jackson Hole, I was visiting Alaska, [where] Todd and Steve Jones were starting Teton Gravity Research with Micah Black, [and] the freeskiing movement was just taking off. I’d go up…for the World Extreme Championships and hang out with Doug Coombs.
I started a trip in 1997—called ‘Kings and Corn’—up in the Tordrillo mountains. It was me and a couple of friends, we went out to the Tordrillos…a range that had never really been skied before. We’d ski some corn, then we’d go King salmon fishing in the rivers. We pretty much skirted the whole boundary of this mountain range.
In 2005, we started the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. Mike Overcast, Jeremy Nobus, a couple of other investors, and I bought an old fishing lodge. We put in $2,000 each to get the helicopter.
Sounds like some kind of Valhalla. What keeps you in Jackson and Alaska?
I think it’s the rawness and the beauty. The one thing about Jackson that I really like is ease of access. If I want to go up Teton pass, I can just put my boots on and look out the window. We [also] get good quality snow, we get a lot of inner-mountain cold storms, where you get great powder.
The thing with Alaska is you can go up there and work, guiding with friends, it can be so good—the best of your life, just perfect conditions. And there’s other times when it can be really fickle, the weather can be terrible, the snow can be bad, and it’s not all it’s made out to be.
How has skiing changed for you?
Just the amount of people now. It’s freakin’ mayhem—there are people everywhere. When you get a good powder day, and go to the resort, there are a couple thousand people already teed up, waiting. But I’ve had so many good days skiing at this point in my life, I’m pretty calm about the whole thing.
What’s been one of the biggest hardships you’ve come across in skiing?
I’ll be honest with you: it was the partying. Laughs. I’ve had so many good days where you just had to go to the bar to celebrate. I’m at a point now where I’m trying to be sober…I guess that’s what happens when you get older, that change in mindset. Now, the biggest thing for ski racer Tommy Moe is just being mindful, looking and seeing how good it is, sharing it with other people, showing them the best day of their lives. Especially teaching my kids to ski—because they rip. That’s the full circle for me: showing people a good time.
The praise for Alaska heli skiing at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge keeps rolling in. Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is proud to be named a top world heli ski destination by CNN. In the past two months the lodge has been included on several lists lauding it as one of the top heli skiing destinations in the world. Recently, CNN Travel has included the lodge in its article titled “11 of the World’s Best Heli-Ski Spots.” The article calls out the Tordrillos’ epic terrain, Denali views, and stable weather conditions as top reasons to book your next heli skiing trip to Tordrillo Mountain Lodge.
Excerpt from CNN Travel:
From Anchorage, a short float plane hop to Judd Lake reaches Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, a luxury retreat featuring two separate wilderness lodges, co-owned by 1994 Olympic downhill skiing champion Tommy Moe.
Tommy’s taxis fly people into 1.2 million acres of heli heaven in the shadow of North America’s highest peak, Denali (Mount McKinley), at 20,310 feet. The heavily glaciated Alaska Range is on a grand scale and offers endless terrain options to keep skiers challenged, with runs that top out at 7,500 feet and more stable weather than other Alaskan spots.
Click here to view the entire CNN Travel article.
Don’t miss out on all of the fun! We still have seats available for the 2016 heli skiing season. Visit our Dates & Rates page for more information.
Alaska heli skiing at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is proud to be named one of the “10 Best Heli-Ski Adventures on the Planet” by Robb Report. Robb Report encourages you to “leave the lift lines behind” and find paradise with the heli skiing adventure of a lifetime.
Robb Report writes, “When it comes to the ultimate winter playground, almost nothing compares in size and scope to Alaska—and Tordrillo Mountain Lodge (co-owned by Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe) is your boutique base camp in the last frontier. Accessing 1.2 million acres and the 600 annual inches of snow found in the Tordrillo range, the lodge’s team of pilots and guides will get to premium powder while selecting sites suitable to your group’s skill level.”
Click here to see the rest of Robb Report’s write up on the lodge.
Heli skiing season at the lodge starts THIS month and we still have seats available for 2016. Cross heli skiing off your bucket list and join us for the heli skiing adventure of a lifetime. Our world class guides are ready to show you around some of the most stunning ski terrain in the world. Visit our Dates & Rates page for more information.
Fitness tips from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge co-owner and Olympian Tommy Moe.