Guided Ski Mountaineering in Southcentral Alaska 

Let's Climb and Ski Peaks! 

On a 7,000-foot summit above Girdwood.

Ski mountaineering means we bring a rope. If needed, we use the rope to prevent a fall in steep terrain or for glacier travel. Ski mountaineering also emphasizes climbing summits and skiing down.

The mountains around Anchorage in Southcentral Alaska are surrounded by glaciers. In March, April, May and even June these glaciers become a ski paradise with long days and stable snow for steep skiing. Although many self-propelled ski mountaineering options exist, an air taxi drop-off, or base camp, is a quick and easy way to access the high peaks. Please call or email and we'll discuss the options. 

Trip Options 

Earn Your Turns

Day and multi-day tours. Shunning air taxi means you need fitness to reach the high peaks. Around Anchorage, we have word-class, road-accessed ski mountaineering in the Chugach, Kenai and Talkeetna Mountains. 

Denali Ski Base Camp

The best ski mountaineering in North America. Denali Ski Base Camp page. See Denali Ski Base Camp posts

Western Chugach Heli Drop

The best access point to glaciers in Southcentral is from Girdwood, an hour drive from Anchorage. A 15-minute helicopter ride from Girdwood takes us 5,000 feet to glaciers in the Western Chugach Mountains. These glaciers dribble off beautiful summits that offer everything from steep skiing and long cruiser runs. Although multiple days is ideal, with nights camping or in huts, the trip is possible as a day tour. At the end of the trip, it works best to ski back to Girdwood rather than fly out. Skiing out avoids a potential problem of being weather-bound and waiting for a helicopter. Whether using a one-way flight, or flying both ways, we'll pack light to have the option of skiing out. For base-camping, with more comforts, consider a Denali Ski Base Camp. See Western Chugach Heli Drop posts

The R44 helicopter seats the pilot plus two with gear. Total, one-way heli drop on the Sparrow Glacier in the Western Chugach is about:

  • 1 client plus guide $450
  • 2-3 clients plus guide $900
  • 4 clients plus guide $1,350
  • 5 clients plus guide: $1350 - $1800. 

Sample Heli Drop Itinerary 

Day 0 Meet in Anchorage at 6pm at your hotel. Gear check and last minute gear purchases. Stay in Anchorage. 

Day 1 Load skis and packs into the car and drive an hour to the helicopter port in Girdwood. The 15-minute heli ride will lift us to the Sparrow Glacier in the Western Chugach Mountains. We'll rope up, tour and establish camp.  

Day 2 Move camp, ski peaks and glaciers.   

Day 3 Move camp, ski peaks and glaciers. 

Day 4 Pack up camp. Ski over a high pass and descend 4,000 feet to the trailhead in Girdwood. Dine on burgers and beer. Stay in Girdwood or Anchorage. 

Day 5 Fly home on the redeye. Most flights in and out of Anchorage are redeye. 

Skill Level

  • Intermediate to advanced alpine skiing skills.
  • Endurance consecutive days in the mountains.
  • Previous camping experience for camping tours.
  • Recent avalanche companion rescue practice. We will have assessment and review before our tour. 

Dates

March through July. Mid-March to mid May is best for long days and stable powder snow in Southcentral Alaska. Summer ski mountaineering continues through July. 

Cost

  • 1 client: $500 per day
  • 2 clients: $300 per person per day
  • 3 clients: $225 per person per day
  • 4+ clients: $200 per person per day (second guide added over four customers)
  • In partnership with Alaska Alpine Adventures.
  • Click here for booking

Includes

  • AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock. Up to eight customers. A second guide may be added. 
  • Cooking gear if camping (stove, pots, fuel, cook tent)
  • Navigation, first aid and repair kits
  • Emergency shelter and communication
  • Rope

Does Not Include

Helicopters allow fast and easy access to untouched skiing in the Western Chugach Mountains. 
 
The best ski mountaineering on the planet. These mountains are covered with glaciers, but the glaciers are relatively benign with smaller crevasses that present few difficulties and keep options open. 
 
Ripping powder on a north face high in the Western Chugach in mid-May. 
 
Ready for a big run down to Turnagain Arm. 
 
Todd Smith making a 4am ascent of Whiteout Peak to ski the 45-degree west face.
 
Chilling at high camp after skiing 5,000 vertical feet of powder and corn.