Southcentral Alaska Backcountry Ski Zones
Southcentral is Alaska's Ski Mecca
Southcentral is one of five distinct regions in Alaska. It consists of a complex mix of mountains and water that caps the Gulf of Alaska. Home to over half of the state’s population, the region has the advantage of remote wilderness combined with amenities and access via Anchorage International Airport and major highways.
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Kenai Mountains (Turnagain and Summit Pass)
Driving south down the Seward Highway from Anchorage are the gorgeous Kenai Mountains on the Kenai Peninsula. These steep and dramatic mountains have a maritime climate with a deep and stable snowpack much like Thompson Pass near Valdez. Turnagain and Summit Pass offer the best roadside skiing around Anchorage. An hour skinning will take us away from the crowds onto untracked terrain. Recommended trip: Guided Backcountry Skiing, Anchorage Ski Week, Southcentral Ski Road Trip.
Talkeetna Mountains (Hatcher Pass)
The sharp granite peaks of the Talkeetna Mountains have an inter-mountain climate much like Montana. If it's dumping in the Kenai Mountains, there's a good chance we'll find clear skies in the Talkeetna Mountains and unlimited options. Recommended trips: Bomber Traverse, Guided Backcountry Skiing, Ski Road Trip.
Chugach Front Range (Anchorage's Backyard)
These are the tippy western end of the extensive Chugach Mountains. From March through June these mountains provide a nearby playground for Anchorage residents, from the classic 24-mile Arctic to Indian ski tour to evening corn and chute skiing in May. Recommended trip: Guided Backcountry Skiing.
Western Chugach Mountains (Girdwood)
Deeper into the Chugach, in the mountains behind Girdwood, the mountains become steeper and more glaciated. Perfect for spring backcountry ski traverses, and early summer summit skiing. Recommended trips: Eklutna Traverse, Guided Ski Mountaineering, Ski Road Trip.
Thompson Pass (Eastern Chugach near Valdez)
The venue for big mountain free skiing is also world-class backcountry and ski mountaineering. Each day we will commute from the coastal oil port of Valdez to Thompson Pass, where we will choose an objective: a steep chute, long powder runs, a multi-pass glacier tour with thousands of vertical feet of skiing. Thompson Pass has it all. Recommended trips: Valdez, Ski Road Trip.
Alaska Range (Little Switzerland)
We begin this fly-in ski base camp expedition from Talkeetna, a two-hour drive from Anchorage. We'll ski among dramatic granite towers in the shadow of Denali (Mount McKinley). Situated on the Pika Glacier, a tributary of the Kahiltna Glacier, our base camp has access to glacial passes, summits long ski runs and breathtaking scenery. Recommended trip: Little Switzerland Ski Base Camp.