NSAA Backcountry Tours

We’re working on the 2019-20 Season calendar, check back soon!

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


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

24th Annual Turkey Day Shakeoff – Archangel Road, Hatcher Pass, Talkeetna Mountains

November 29, 2019
Level: Easy III
Distance: 8 miles total
Elevation Gain: 800-1,000 feet
Tour Leader: TBA
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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