Post-, pre-, proto-Plakes pepper Wild, Wild Hot Dog Tour | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Post-, pre-, proto-Plakes pepper Wild, Wild Hot Dog Tour

Glen Plake may be an unlikely gap-jumping, mogul-skiing, mohawked Pied Piper, but he certainly was an effective one Saturday and Sunday at Sierra-at-Tahoe.

Plake helped break down the barriers of age, geography, experience level and even equipment as his Wild, Wild Hot Dog Tour visited Sierra-at-Tahoe for the weekend. Plake, South Lake Tahoe’s homegrown freeskiing legend, estimated seeing 40 new faces each day as he leveled the barriers between snowsports.

“I just like making people ski pretty much ’til the last run, you know, making laps, ” Plake said after the second day of the Tour’s Sierra stop.



A hard core of about seven or eight, many young, stayed with Plake for everything he dished out – blowing up the Dynamite bump run, hitting jumps in the park, or running impromptu skier and snowboard crosses down the Gauntlet course – both days.

“I think that’s a direct indication of people are finally outgrowing Colorado and finding out where the good (skiing) is,” Plake said of the diversity of the Hot Dog Tour’s skiers.




Little surprise a few of those skiers were budding freestylers. Troy Radke, a 13-year-old skier from South Lake Tahoe, was one member of a handful of proto-Plakes that hung on the mountain all day both days. Radke picked up some tips to further his mission to travel the world and freeski like Plake. And Radke is well on the way.

“I think I’m on the way,” said Radke, whose uncle, David Rose, told him about Plake and about the tour. “Glen comes up ever year and teaches us all this stuff.”

The tour was a little more visible during Saturday’s sunny weather, when Plake had his giant mohawk on display. While Sunday’s conditions dictated a lower-key Hot Dog Tour, the skiing didn’t cool off considerably for the group that met Plake near the Grandview Express lift.

The Pied-Piper motif, though, is appropriate. The tour, which has visited several Booth Creek Ski Holdings resorts on both coasts, grew from Plake freeskiing with his wife, Kimberly. They always attracted a crowd, and since then, the tour has become an annual tradition at Sierra and beyond.

“No doubt about it, it’s amazing to just watch people gravitate to the whole experience of learning how to ski and just having fun,” Kimberly Plake said. “It’s a snowball effect.”

The tour – which wrapped each of its days with a weenie roast apres-ski party in Sierra’s main lodge – has been a staple of Booth Creek’s mountains. No plans are definite yet, but it would be a surprise of the tour didn’t return to Sierra next season.

“I can’t say that definitely, but with the wild success we’ve had with the Wild, Wild Hot Doug Tour, it’s definitely fun for us to put it on,” said Sierra spokesman Ben McLeod. “Glen always brings a fun crowd.

“A lot of us grew up with Glen Plake as our hero, so it’s a lot of fun to get out and ski with our hero.”

SIDEBAR

Just one more time.

When Glen Plake’s Wild, Wild Hot Dog Tour visited Sierra-at-Tahoe over the weekend, it made a prolonged stop – four spur-of-the moment races – at the Gauntlet snowboard cross course.

Plake revealed the secrets that helped him throw himself down the Gauntlet as the Tour-ists hit the course for a few impromptu skiercrosses.

— Choose your own line

— Look ahead on the course – and ski ahead of the course: “Don’t ski what’s in front of you,” Plake said.

— Good technique: Keep your skiing fast, keep your momentum up through the terrain features, and, above all, visit the first point again: Choose your own way through the course.

“The main thing is ski your course, not the guy’s in front of you,” Plake said.


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