NSAA Backcountry Tours

2021-22 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. Check out our beanie with NEW colors this season! Hats are available at all backcountry tours, NSAA office, Season Kickoff, and online HERE.



COVID-19 Mitigation for the 2020-21 Season

All participants must follow the mandates set forth in the NSAA Backcountry Tours Mitigation Plan in order to participate. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Please see the Mitigation plan by clicking the button below. 


Before You Join a NSAA Free Backcountry Tour: 

1. 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. Renew or Join today!

Already a member? Login in to the NSAA Member Portal to RSVP for a Tour.

2. ​Pick a Tour

Find a tour that interests you. Feel free to contact the Tour leader with questions using the contact information provided in the schedule below.

The following tours are currently full for the 2021-22 season:

Iditarod Tour, Matanuska Glacier Tour, Denali View Chalet Tour, AT/Tele Hatcher Pass Tour, Hidden Lake/Ship Pass Tour, Manitoba Hut, Center Ridge, Skookum Glacier and Crust Skiing Tour.


3. Fill out the Release Form

Complete the Online RSVP & Release forms. This is required.

4. Review Gear List 

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


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

Reed Creek Overnight Backcountry Camping, Talkeetna Mountains

April 9-10, 2022
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
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 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 9.   From there we’ll drive to...

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Backcountry “Crust” Skate Skiing, location TBD

April 16, 2022
Level: Easy III
Distance: 6 – 8 miles
Elevation Gain: Rolling terrain
Tour Leader: Zachary Liller, 907-717-3419; zwliller@yahoo.com
Meet up location: TBD Meet up time: 7:00 AM There is nothing quite like gliding efficiently through backcountry terrain on skinny little skate skis. In most years, early spring in Alaska offers a “unicorn” ski experience for those willing to get up early and search...

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