Join us for this post-Thanksgiving shake-off ski for our first tour of the season. Travel under the rugged and beautiful peaks of the Archangel Valley and past old mining ruins in Hatcher Pass for a spectacular day of skiing on the Archangel Road. This is a great opportunity for those who want to learn about ski touring in the mountains, or start skiing for the season. Meet at the Carrs Muldoon parking lot near the bakery at 9:00 a.m. From there we’ll drive to the Archangel Road trailhead about 0.8 miles up the road from Gold Mint Trailhead. If you’d rather meet us at the trailhead, expect to see us at about 10:30 am. We anticipate arriving back at the cars about 3:30 pm, depending on how much fun we are having and how far we ski. The first portion of the trail, to the Reed Lakes trailhead, is flat, gaining only 300 feet in 2 ½ miles. This is a great turnaround spot for beginning skiers. The trail to the gate is another 1 ½ miles, gaining 500 feet and will be a great downhill run for those with more experience. We expect to ski about 8 miles round trip.
Alternatively (depending on snow conditions), we will ski through Independence Mine (likely off the groomed trails) and continue up the hill past Gold Cord Mine. We will ski beyond into the flatter upper bowl below Granite Peak and Friendship Pass, where we will have lunch. We will descend the hill at our own pace and, if conditions allow, cross the creek to find our way back to the trailhead. This tour would be appropriate for an advanced beginner to intermediate skier who can travel about 6 miles round trip on terrain with short climbs and downhills under various snow conditions. We’ll meet at the Carrs Muldoon parking lot near the bakery at 9:00 am and then drive to the Independence Mine trailhead where we expect to arrive at 10:30 am. A Chugach State Park pass is required; a self-service fee station is located at the parking lot.
For a pdf description of the tour, please click here: Turkey Day Shake-off Tour 2020
Please check the following weather information before you prepare for this ski tour.
Hatcher Pass area weather forecast: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=61.79480994425425&lon=-149.27061629638672#.WA1w5q8zWUk
Independence Mine area temps and snow depth (but a few miles from our trailhead: http://ambcs.org/cgi-bin/siteCurrent.cgi?site=INDEPENDENCE_M
Point forecast for Archangel Road:
Marmot weather station operated by the Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (besides weather information this has a web cam)
All NSAA Backcountry Tour participants must be NSAA members. Due to the COVID pandemic, members must RSVP and sign release forms online. All participants are also required to review the COVID assessment questions online within 24 hours of the start of the tour. See the complete Mitigation Plan on the homepage for Backcountry Tours. Social distancing will be practiced on all tours.
All the NSAA tours are accompanied by the Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol. If needed, they provide first aid and safety for tour participants. We thank them for their valuable help.
You can help support the Tours section by purchasing an attractive knit ski cap online.
Based on prior low snow years, we may need to change the location of the ski tour and will let folks know by email, the NSAA website or the Tours Hotline at 907-258-6800. Thanks for your flexibility!