4 skiers in the sunny chugach mountains with snowy couloirs behind them

Ski Mountaineering Trip to Valdez Alaska 2022

This years Valdez, Alaska trip was another great success! Three amazing guests Neerav, Mourya, and Riishi met us in Anchorage, Alaska. After meeting at the airport we piled into the van and made a stop at the grocery store for supplies. A quick lunch, and we embarked on the scenic 5 hour drive to to Valdez, Alaska. Taking in views of the Chugach and spotting wildlife along the way. Our trip is 9 days long in total with 7 complete days of riding. Once we arrived in Valdez we settled into our accommodations, on the beautiful Valdez Harbor, had dinner in the hotel restaurant, and heading to bed to get some rest before our adventure begins!

The week of riding is structured as a progression and based upon weather and snow conditions. We started with the stunning tour up onto the Worthington Glacier. This zone has several great descents including Girls Mountain, Acapulco, Hershey Kiss and several other unnamed runs. These all feed down onto the glacier and at the end of the day we are treated to a long continuous 2 mile descent back to the highway.

In the following days we were faced with challenging visibility that makes glacier travel, where there is little contrast, hard if not impossible. Since riding in flat light or worse yet a complete whiteout isn't enjoyable we chose to find a section of Thompson Pass that normally maintains better visibility and offers better contrast with rock lined chutes: called couloirs. In this area, we went window shopping and rode two couloirs and finished the day with another long descent back to the car

As we waited for visibility to improve, we were continuously watching the weather radar, that was littered with color, as a weather front smashed up against the range keeping visibility at a minimum. At the same time, we were arranging our Heli ski days. In order to Heli ski we need good visibility and as we attempted to take our first flight it became apparent we weren't going to fly that day. Instead of sitting inside, we took advantage of the snow quality and were able to take some mellow laps nearby and still had some good turns. 

We continued to explore the amazing couloirs along the Richardson Highway corridor until the weather finally started to give and visibility increased. In great style, our week long trip was capped by a day of superb Heli skiing. Definitely a trip for the books!

All in all we rode everyday riding good snow and great terrain for 7 consecutive days. Thank you Neerav, Mourya, and Riishi for joining us on this adventure!

To sign up for next years Valdez trip click here.  

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