Alaskan Ski Mountaineering

alaska ski mountaineeringThe Alaskan Mountain Ranges are some of the crown jewels of North American ski mountaineering.

From the helicopter laden Valdez area to the interior of the Matanuska Glacier and the steep ski resort of Alyeska near Anchorage; the Chugach and Alaska Ranges are easily accessible from anywhere in the U.S., Canada, or Asia.

Eli Helmuth has been skiing and climbing in AK annually since 1994 and he offers regular pilgrimages to the sweetest powder lines and top climbing that AK has to offer.

2011 Alaska Ski Mountaineering

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Trip report from the 2011 Ski Mountaineering Expedition to the great Alaska Range.

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2010 Alaska Ski Mountaineering

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Camp Pika in the "Little Switzerland" on the 2010 Alaska Range Ski Mountaineering Trip.

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Alaska Range Ski Mountaineering

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Images from an April 2009 ski mountaineering trip to the Little Switzerland area of the Alaska Range.

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Scandinavian Peaks Ski Mountaineering

This easily accessible yet un-trodden part of the Chugach Mountain Range is a ski mountaineer's playground with airplane access and a choice of numerous glacial systems that connect within the 20 mile long Matanuska Glacier.

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Plane camping can be luxurious with individual tents, great food and refreshments; as long as it fits in the plane, we will bring it.  Having extra ski's, emergency medical equipment, radios, and food with us increases the likelihood of not needing to use any of it.

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Most of the approaches in the Scandinavian Peaks region are between 3-5 miles each way with vertical gains up to 5,000' above basecamp.

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If conditions are appropriate, we spend almost all of our time skiing unroped on the glaciers but to do this you need excellent ability in seeing the safest passages through a complex landscape of steep, glaciated terrain.

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Having only your party's tracks fill an entire 10 mile wide cirque of bowls, chutes and dramatic summits connects us with our previous day's experiences.

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                                A favorite cold face on the side of Denmark Peak

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Overall we have witnessed minimal avalanche activity in this relatively steep terrain and the stable weather and colder temperatures more prevalent on this side of the range are factor's in increased stability and much different than the warmer, ocean front  ranges.  Being in the interior of the Chugach Range, the north side receives less moisture and dryer snow compared to the Valdez and Anchorage sides.

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Non-glaciated, lower angle and lower avalanche danger terrain exists on the sides of the moraines of the lower glaciers.

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The upper Matanuska glacier leads to Mt. Marcus Baker which is the highest peak in the Chugach Range. 

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Warm sun and cold powder make for a perfect mix and in four trips to this region, we have experienced overall great weather and excellent skiing conditions and with no one in sight, pure solitude.

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A sunset on Finland and Denmark Peaks (L-R) in the Scandinavian Peaks region of the Chugach Range.

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