Chugach Front Coolers

The Chugach Front Range are the adult toy store for Anchorage mountain athletes. The mountains are small, but access is fast and with a creative eye, the options are endless. In winter these peaks are windslabs and bare rock. As summer arrives, flowers emerge on the south faces while snow lingers on the shady north faces. Over the past eight years I've searched these north sides for continuous lines of snow snaking down the crumbling rock faces like rivulets of water.

In June 2004 Gabe Rogel and I tried a north face ski linkup. We skied 2 1/2 chutes, but missed the glory runs. After several more years of research I recruited Cody Arnold and Pete Hinmon for another go. We nailed it: four north faces, 13,000 vertical feet over 19 hours. See an article on in Off Piste on our trip.

Cody and Pete on top Ptarmigan at 9am for the first chute of the day.  

Pete on the north face of Ptarmigan. 

Chute #2 of the day. Cody stoked on the fat solstice eve conditions in the Avalanche Peak chute. Some call this the Thin White Line, but that name sounds kind of dramatic for a fun ski run. 

Cody's white Alaska-raised bum streaking from Ship Lake. 

Scrambling into Cooler One on the north face of The Ramp. Two chutes contain this face, like giant snowy parentheses. 

Schteeeep summer turns in Cooler One on The Ramp. Notice the tumbling pebbles following Pete. Nothing dangerous, but enough rock that I'd suggest borrowing your friends skis. 

Cody, Pete and Joe on the summit of East Taniana at 11pm for our fourth chute of the day. 

"I think it's down there." 2,000 feet of 40-plus with lots of rockfall in the snow.  

Slogging back over The Dome at 2am on June 21.