NSAA Backcountry Tours

2018-2019 Season

Get out your touring skis for a great and safe ski. You will experience ungroomed trails using fish scales and metal edges with a group of like-minded individuals! Meet future friends, enjoy some sweet powder, bring the dog and your thermos full of hot cocoa. BEST PART YET…backcountry tours are completely FREE! All of our tours feature the Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, a valued partner in keeping all skiers safe!

To support the tours, buy a custom NSAA Jytte beanie, 100% merino wool and made in the USA, for $40. Hats available at all backcountry tours, NSAA office, Season Kickoff, and online HERE

 

 

 

Before You Join a NSAA Free Backcountry Tour…

Become a NSAA Member

Your donation helps support these FREE backcountry ski tours! Please note: that you MUST be a current NSAA member to join a tour. Unsure about your membership status? Check HERE

Pick a Tour

Find a tour that interests you and sign up by either calling or emailing the tour leader.  Easy as 1-2. See schedule below.

Fill out the Release Form

Bring your completed release form on the tour and give it to your leader before you start! This is required.

Release Form

Review Gear List 

Ski Tour Classifications

  • Easy I: 1 to 3 miles round trip on generally flat terrain. Suitable for beginners
  • Easy II: 3 to 6 miles round trip and up to 600 ft. elevation gain
  • Easy III: 6 to 8 miles round trip or 600 ft. to 800 ft. elevation gain
  • Moderate I: 800 ft. to 1100 ft. elevation gain
  • Moderate II: 1100 ft. to 1500 ft. elevation gain
  • Moderate III: 1500 ft. to 1800 ft. elevation gain
  • Advanced I: 1800 ft. to 2500 ft. elevation gain
  • Advanced II: Over 2500 ft. elevation gain

Advanced ski tours are generally on more difficult terrain and participants have developed efficiency and acquired skills for their safe backcountry ski travels. To go on an Advanced ski trip, you must be able to break trail for a period of time and must have excellent nordic/downhill skiing ability. In addition, you should carry a shovel, probe and avalanche beacon and know how to use them, plus any extra items required by the trip leader.

Additional Information -pdf

Feel free to contact your trip leader if you have any questions.  Asking questions can clear up confusion and assist you in your preparations for your ski trip.

Weather Links

Area Temps
Anchorage Forecast
Palmer Forecast
Turnagain Pass temps and snow depths
Independence Mine temps and snow depths
Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
Chugach National Forest Service Avalanche Center

Contacts

Backcountry Ski Tours Leader, Mary Vavrik
Phone: 907-306-7686, mvavrik@gci.net

Nordic Ski Patrol contact: Mary Vavrik mvavrik@gci.net, 907-306-7686


Scheduled Tours

23rd Annual Turkey Day Shakeoff – Archangel Road, Hatcher Pass, Talkeetna Mountains

November 23, 2018
Level: Easy III
Distance: 8 miles total
Elevation Gain: 800-1,000 feet
Tour Leader: Mason Wick, 907-982-7809, masedig7@gmail.com
Join us for this post-Thanksgiving Shakeoff 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...

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Iditarod National Historic Trail (INHT) Turnagain Pass, Kenai Mountains

December 8, 2018
Level: Moderate II
Distance: 8 miles total
Elevation Gain: 1,000 - 1,100 feet
Tour Leader: Mary Vavrik, 907-306-7686, mvavrik@gci.net
Enjoy a great ski on a part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail (INHT).  We will start at the bathrooms on the east side of the highway at Turnagain Pass.   We will begin with a gradual ski in on a well-developed trail through the forest with short climbs on a...

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Friday Night Fun Ski- Hillside Ski Trails

January 4, 2019
Level: Easy II
Distance: 3-6 miles total
Elevation Gain: Rolling terrain on groomed ski trails
Tour Leader: Ed Kamienski, 907-223-6194, akbiker@hotmail.com
Meet at the Abbott Road parking lot at 6:00 pm. We will ski the groomed ski trails.  There is potential to make this a short or long trip, depending on the group. The trails are rolling hills through a beautiful forested area.  Bring water and warm clothes.  Check the...

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Friday Night Fun Ski- Hillside Ski Trails

January 11, 2019
Level: Easy II
Distance: 3-6 miles total
Elevation Gain: Rolling terrain on groomed ski trails
Tour Leader: Ed Kamienski, 907-223-6194, akbiker@hotmail.com
Meet at the Abbott Road parking lot at 6:00 pm. We will ski the groomed ski trails.  There is potential to make this a short or long trip, depending on the group. The trails are rolling hills through a beautiful forested area.  Bring water and warm clothes.  Check the...

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Sheep Mountain Lodge, two overnights, Talkeetna Mountains

January 19-21, 2019
Level: Easy III
Distance: Pick your distance, up to 15 miles (24km) or more
Elevation Gain: 50-300 feet
Tour Leader: Elizabeth Bluemink, 907-952-3956, ebluemink@yahoo.com
Enjoy two overnights over MLK Holiday weekend at Sheep Mountain Lodge in group cabins.  Ski on 24 km groomed non-motorized trails or beyond on 60 mi multi-use trails at Sheep Mountain Saturday and Sunday.  On Monday, ski out to Matanuska Glacier along Caribou Creek....

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Matanuska Glacier from Caribou Creek (MLK Holiday)

January 21, 2019
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 10 miles total
Elevation Gain: Downhill at beginning and end, generally flat
Tour Leader: Tour Leader: Elizabeth Bluemink, Sheep Mtn., 907-952-3956; ebluemink@yahoo.com; Mary Vavrik, (Anchorage Carrs Muldoon carpooling) 907-306-7686; mvavrik@gci.net
Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Carrs Muldoon where we’ll drive up to Caribou Creek pullout (Mile 106 of the Glenn Hwy) to ski to the toe of the mighty Matanuska Glacier.  We will meet skiers coming from the Sheep Mountain Lodge weekend.  The ski will be on and off the creek and...

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Beach Lake Ski Trails

January 27, 2019
Level: Easy II
Distance: Up to 6 miles
Elevation Gain: Rolling terrain
Tour Leader: Ray Cammisa, 907-726-7977, raybird68@hotmail.com
Beach Lake Park ski trails are in the southeastern corner of the 1,750-acre park along South Birchwood Loop Road near Chugiak High School. Exit the Glenn Highway about Mile 17.4 and drive northwest on South Birchwood Loop, passing the school. The Beach Lake Chalet...

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Friday Night Fun Ski- Hillside Ski Trails

February 1, 2019
Level: Easy II
Distance: 3-6 miles
Elevation Gain: Rolling terrain on groomed ski trails
Tour Leader: Ed Kamienski, 907-223-6194, akbiker@hotmail.com
Meet at the Abbott Road parking lot at 6:00 pm. We will ski the groomed ski trails.  There is potential to make this a short or long trip, depending on the group. The trails are rolling hills through a beautiful forested area.  Bring water and warm clothes.  Check the...

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Middle Fork Loop, Chugach Mountains

February 9, 2019
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 8 miles total
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
Tour Leader: Mary Vavrik, 907-306-7686, mvavrik@gci.net
Ski with spectacular views of Rusty Point, Ptarmigan and O’Malley Peaks with grand views of the surrounding mountains.    This is one of  Anchorage’s most accessible backcountry tours. We’ll meet at the Prospect Heights trailhead at 9:30 am and start...

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Manitoba Mountain AT / Tele-ski and Touring options, two overnights

February 16-18, 2019
Level: Advanced I
Distance: Manitoba: 6 miles total, Touring Option: 3-8 miles total
Elevation Gain: Manitoba: 2300 feet, Touring Option: 100 feet
Tour Leader: AT/Tele ski: Michael Henrich 907-632-6440, mhenrich@gci.net; Reservations and touring: Karlene Leeper at 907-440-0049; kbleeper@gci.net
Join us for two overnights over President’s Day weekend at Manitoba Huts for telemarking , AT skiing or touring.  This terrain is for beginning to intermediate skiers.  If climbing Manitoba Mountain, you’ll need skins for your skis.  You should also have avalanche...

NOTE: Advanced ski tours are generally on more difficult terrain and participants have developed efficiency and acquired skills for their safe backcountry ski travels. To go on an Advanced ski trip, you must be able to break trail for a period of time and must have excellent nordic/downhill skiing ability. In addition to the “10 essentials”, you should carry a shovel, probe and avalanche beacon and know how to use them, plus any extra items required by the trip leader.

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Denali View Chalet, two overnights, Peters Hills

March 1-3, 2019
Level: Easy II
Distance: 8 miles one way to Chalet
Elevation Gain: Generally flat with rolling terrain
Tour Leader: Karlene Leeper, 907-440-0049, kbleeper@gci.net
Enjoy the weekend at a rustic Alaskan lodge on Kroto Lake south of Mt. McKinley.  Ski 8 miles into the lodge with just a day pack.   Your gear and food will be brought in by the chalet owner on snowmachine.   Enjoy awesome views of Denali, fantastic company, wonderful...

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Beach Lake to Tidal Grasslands

March 10, 2019
Level: Easy II
Distance: 6+ miles round trip, 3-4 hours
Elevation Gain: Generally flat
Tour Leader: Ray Cammisa; 907-726-7977, raybird68@hotmail.com
From the lake parking lot, if conditions allow, we will ski the lake side to the north end and pass over the mushing trails and onto Cook Inlet Upper tidal grasslands. Beautiful views of the coastal flats, meandering channels and maybe a muskrat lodge.  Meet at 11:00...

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Skookum Glacier, Kenai Mountains

March 17, 2019
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 12 miles total
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Tour Leader: Mary Vavrik; 907-306-7686, mvavrik@gci.net
This will be a kick and glide tour up to the Skookum Glacier.  On a sunny day, you’ll enjoy incredible views of the glacier, Byron and Carpathian Peaks.  Because it’s spring, we have to worry about the warmth instead of the cold.  Depending on snow conditions, we may...

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Reed Creek Overnight Ski-In

March 30-31, 2019
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 fett
Tour Leader: Mary Vavrik; 907-306-7686, mvavrik@gci.net
Travel under the rugged and beautiful peaks of Archangel Valley and up Reed Creek for  a spectacular weekend of skiing and winter camping.  Plan on meeting at the Carrs Muldoon parking lot near the bakery at 9 am on Saturday March 30.   From there we’ll car pool to...

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Gold Mint Trail, Hatcher Pass

April 7, 2019
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 10 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Tour Leader: Ray Cammisa, 907-726-7977, raybird68@hotmail.com
Travel under the rugged and beautiful peaks of the Little Susitna Valley in Hatcher Pass for  a spectacular day of spring skiing on the Gold Mint trail.  Plan on meeting at the north end of the Eagle River Fred Meyer parking lot at 10:00 a.m.   From there we’ll car...

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