Ski in Denali National Park, Central Alaska Range, Alaska
The Central Alaska Range has the biggest mountains in North America including Denali at 20,320 feet and Mount Foraker at 17,402 feet. The lower elevation peaks below these giants have a deep and often stable snowpack with terrain perfect for skiing.
From Anchorage, we'll drive two and half hours north to the character-laden town of Talkeetna. After checking in at the Ranger Station, we'll weigh and load our gear into a Talkeetna Air Taxi bush plane and fly 45 minutes into the mountains. Once on the glacier, we'll set up a fat base camp and review crevasse and avalanche companion rescue skills. The next day we begin skiing and continue skiing as long as your energy and conditions allow.
Our base camp will be fun and comfortable, but not luxurious. We will sleep and cook altogether in a six-person Hilleberg tent that is tall enough for standing. For bigger groups we have a mess hall that that connects onto the sleeping tent. Additional smaller tents are available for bigger groups or if you want privacy. The food is not gourmet, but plentiful and the kind you crave after a big day of skiing. The latrine will be a Denali Clean Mountain Can from the Park Service so we can transport the waste out of the mountains.
Terrain and Location
Where we go in the Alaska Range depends on conditions and your interest. We won’t make the final decision until minutes before getting on the plane. Terrain options exist for all abilities: from moderate glacier runs to steep chutes. Most of the skiing will be on glaciers, but these are cirque glaciers that hang above the bigger valley glaciers. These cirque glaciers have smaller crevasses, which typically allow us to ski downhill unroped.
Popular Central Alaska ski mountaineering locations include the Pika Glacier in Little Switzerland, The Mountain House on the Ruth Glacier and Kahiltna Base Camp. Where we go exactly depends on current conditions from professionals in the area, Joe's recent trips, and Joe's knowledge from over 50 trips into the Central Alaska Range.
Denali Weather Links
Mesonet temperature sensor at 3,300' on the Ruth Glacier
Mountain-Forecast.com, 4,922' forecast
Mountainweather.com, South-Central Alaska page
FAA Web Cam, go to McKinley South, northwest view
NWS Denali Recreational Forecast, May-July
NWS Point Forecast for Pika Glacier
Windy.com, Pika Glacier
Intermediate to advanced alpine ski skills.
Endurance for consecutive full days in the mountains.
Recent avalanche rescue practice.
Previous winter camping experience is helpful, but not required.
Previous glacier travel experience is helpful, but not required.
April-June. Six days on the glacier. Booking one year ahead is recommended.
Day 0: Meet at your B&B in Anchorage at 5pm for trip overview and gear check. We'll make last minute gear purchases at AMH and REI and then have dinner at a brew pub.
Day 1: Meet at your B&B at 7am. Drive two and a half hours to Talkeetna and load gear into a bush plane. Fly 45 minutes into the Alaska Range. After setting up a fat base camp, we'll review avalanche and crevasse companion rescue. If time allows, we'll go for an evening ski.
Day 2: Tour all day.
Day 3: Tour all day.
Day 4: Tour all day.
Day 5: Tour all day.
Day 6: Ski in the morning. Pack up and fly back to Talkeetna for burgers and beer at the Denali Brewery. Drive back to Anchorage, or stay in Talkeetna.
Day 7: To account for weather delays, please leave Anchorage no earlier than the redeye on Day 7.
2 clients: $4,000 each
3 clients: $3,500 each
4+ clients: $3,000 each
Contact Joe for custom trip quote
In partnership with Alaska Guide Collective.
AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock. A second guide may be added over four clients.
Glacier air taxi.
Group cook gear, tents and ropes.
Navigation, first aid and repair kits.
Emergency shelter and communication.
Does Not Include
Hotels. See Southcentral Alaska logistics.
Transport between Anchorage and Talkeetna. Using your personal or rental car is the best option. If possible, the guide will ride with you.
Drinks or meals out of the field.
Personal ski gear. See Backcountry Ski Gear List.
Rescue and trip insurance. See Booking for details.
Costs from schedule changes such as hotels, meals off the mountain, and transport.
The Air Taxi Caveat—Please Read and Understand
While air taxis add to the Alaska experience, they also add delays that are out of Stock Alpine control. We estimate that half of the fly-in trips have some flight delay. Air taxi delays include, but are not limited to: mechanical delays, multi-day weather delays both on the flight in and flight out, scheduling complications and pilot complications. Of course our goal is to minimize these complications and maximize the skiing and success of the trip. Alaska requires flexibility. If you are flexible the rewards are huge. If you have expectations and are not flexible then we recommend a trip elsewhere.