Guided Backcountry Skiing Trips to Alaska
Skiing in the coastal mountains of Alaska is as good as skiing gets. The mountains are big, the snowpack is deep, the snow stability is usually good, the snow quality is out of this world, and the terrain has an well earned reputation for great skiing. The average annual snowfall is in the ballpark of 650”. Some years receive even more. The only paradoxical challenge to backcountry skiing in Alaska is that skiers need the snow to stop falling so that they can physically see. Most skiing is above the tree-line or on glaciers where visibility is next to impossible without the contrast provided by direct sunlight. This wild weather is what makes the skiing here so compelling. After all, if the weather were clear and sunny all the time, it would just be another mountain range! On any ski trip to Alaska, patience is key. Those who pay their dues are often rewarded with the best days of their lives.
We offer both ski touring and heli-ski options in Alaska. Whether accessing terrain by foot or by air, the skiing is mind blowing. Both means of access are worthy in their own right. If you plan to test yourself strictly as a skier, heli-skiing is a hard option to beat, though for a true wilderness experience, ski touring is untouchable.
Ski Touring Safari
On this ski-based road trip, we access a variety of terrain and ski touring venues across southern central Alaska. We explore the best of what the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains have to offer. We will travel by car, ski during the day and stay at local accommodations as we explore Alaska. Based on snow conditions and weather, we aim to ski the best snow and terrain that the area offers. Along the way, we will also learn some skills associated with steep skiing and glacier travel.
While these trips are focused on ski-touring, some days might start with skiing from road heads (as typical) while other days might take advantage of either heli lifts or snowmobile drops. The huge scale of Alaska’s mountains allow for all types of access.
Due to the variable weather in the area, we approach any trip itinerary to Alaska with flexibility. Our typical trip would be about 8 days of skiing combined with travel and rest/weather days. The longer duration of the trip adds some insurance for good skiing in the mountains. For those interested in heli-sking opportunities, it is possible (additional cost) if snow conditions, weather, and overnight availability align.
We have found that trips that concentrate on ski-touring are the best way to hedge bets against the weather when skiing in Alaska. While heli-skiing is wonderful, it is also extremely weather dependent. If the weather is poor, there are often few alternatives. If one's focus is on ski-touring, we can still ski or shift base if the weather is really bad to avoid getting skunked.
Day 1: Arrive in Anchorage
Day 2: Drive to Palmer (1hr), Day Touring Hatcher Pass
Day 3: Day Touring Hatcher Pass
Day 4: Drive to Valdez (6hrs) Rest Day
Day 5: Day Touring Thompson Pass - Glacier Training
Day 6: Day Touring Thompson Pass
Day 7: Day Touring Thompson Pass (Sled Drop)
Day 8: Day Touring Thompson Pass (Heli Drop)
Day 9: Rest Day - Poor Weather
Day 10: Day Touring Thompson Pass (Heli Drop)
Day 11: Ferry to Whittier (6hrs) Rest Day
Day 12: Day Touring Turnagain Pass, Drive to Anchorage
Transportation During Trip
Heli Drop (2 days)
Snowmobile Drop (1 Day)
Trip Does Not Include:
Getting to and from the trip
Food on the trip
Additional Heli Drops or Heli Skiing
Our Alaska ski trips are completely customizable, so you can spend the most time on the activities you and you group want to do. Want a heli-skiing specific trip? A remote Base Camp based trip in the hills? Get ready for the ultimate backcountry skiing excursion, and contact us today to get started!
Season: February - May
Trip Length: TBD
Minimum Booking: TBD
Season: March 1 - April 30
Trip Length: 12 Days
Bookings Size: 2 minimum, 8 maximum
Ratio: 4:1 max
Fitness: Good to Very Good
Ability: High Advanced to Expert level skier