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Alaska Late Winter Hits - Volume 2

This second wrap up of late season, Southcentral Alaskan skiing covers some fun days on the Seward Highway and a cool adventure to a relatively local but curiously hard to access line on Tanaina Peak.

Turnagain Arm

A nice grind with over 4,000 feet of gain right from the carThere are several large peaks between Anchorage and Girdwood. They’re hard to miss. Some sport southwest facing slide paths that become after work objectives this time of year and support tasty corn well into spring. In big years, skiing to the car is possible into May.

In addition to the sunny sides, there are several tasty north-facing shots that hold powder after corn is forming in the sun. From the summits, 4,000 feet of continuous skiing can be found on some. Views are typically spectacular.

Mat heading up after another 2,000 foot north facing shot


The North Couloir, Tanaina Peak, Chugach, AKI don’t mind identifying this peak by name. It’s in plain view from nearly anywhere in the Anchorage bowl. The west face is tempting to any skier. But what’s less known is this north couloir that rarely gets skied. I mention it here because most local skiers simply don’t have the patience to travel 3 hours over typical Front Range, shark-infested terrain to hit a 1,500 line, no matter how elegant. Additionally, the window for easy travel back there is just about closed, anyway, as the lower reaches of the approach melt out.

Mat and I don’t mind though and on a brilliant morning we parked our car in an access-friendly neighborhood and followed a designated hiking trail up into the alpine. Looking back toward Anchorage 45 minutes into the approachWe side-hilled for over an 90 minutes before gaining a saddle and dropping into Snow Hawk Valley. An easy tour around and into the cirque below Tanaina brought this magnificent couloir into view. The photos tell the rest of the tale.


A few powder turns above the lake.

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