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  1. #1
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    Best Alaska skiing situation in March?

    Been before. Camped on Thompson Pass with sleds. Loved it. Skinned most of our vert. Heading back, haven't decided whether same spot or Haines? Going with the lady and a buddy or two. All strong skiers. Would love to get on a heli if the price wasn't too absurd. Open to anything that will get us a lot of vert/skiing. Birds/cats/??? Headed up 3rd week in March this year. Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
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    Check out SMG they’re flying out of Knik river lodge that time of year. You could also likely get a plane into somewhere awesome and camp and skin.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chugachjed View Post
    Check out SMG they’re flying out of Knik river lodge that time of year. You could also likely get a plane into somewhere awesome and camp and skin.
    Thank you Jed! I'll look into it!
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  4. #4
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    Oct 2003
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    Haines with a couple days in Juneau. Ride lifts at Eaglecrest and hike out ridges, etc.

  5. #5
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    ^^this^^

    Eaglecrest is awesome. My friends run Alaska Powder Descents in Juneau. It’s reasonably priced heli skiing on the Juneau Icefield.

  6. #6
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    Juneau is nice, I lived there a few years. Eaglecrest is a fun hill if it has the snow. Girdwood is a fun town and Alyeska is usually still good in March, I know there are a lot of help/cat operations out of there. Hatcher pass is good for backcountry. Check out the Alaska Backcountry Ski Addiction group on Facebook, lots of good info.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    can you make a game time decision?

    Cause that's what I'd do. I've flown with APD in Juneau, highly recommended, but Juneau in March could be amazing, could be raining... Same thing with Haines and really all of southeast. However heli time is generally way less expensive in southeast due to the absurd number of helicopters. Juneau does have a ski lift that often has amazing snow in March so there's that. I think Eaglecrest is the best ski area in Alaska, just because of the vibe, terrain and backcountry access. But again... global warming makes things hard.

    Chances are though that the second week of march is going to be badass around Anchorage because I'm going to Mammoth.
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    ^^this^^

    Eaglecrest is awesome. My friends run Alaska Powder Descents in Juneau. It’s reasonably priced heli skiing on the Juneau Icefield.
    Quote Originally Posted by bskin View Post
    Juneau is nice, I lived there a few years. Eaglecrest is a fun hill if it has the snow. Girdwood is a fun town and Alyeska is usually still good in March, I know there are a lot of help/cat operations out of there. Hatcher pass is good for backcountry. Check out the Alaska Backcountry Ski Addiction group on Facebook, lots of good info.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    can you make a game time decision?

    Cause that's what I'd do. I've flown with APD in Juneau, highly recommended, but Juneau in March could be amazing, could be raining... Same thing with Haines and really all of southeast. However heli time is generally way less expensive in southeast due to the absurd number of helicopters. Juneau does have a ski lift that often has amazing snow in March so there's that. I think Eaglecrest is the best ski area in Alaska, just because of the vibe, terrain and backcountry access. But again... global warming makes things hard.

    Chances are though that the second week of march is going to be badass around Anchorage because I'm going to Mammoth.
    Eagle crest was reporting 11" base a week ago, and 22" today. Is that normal for this time of year? Or has it been a lackluster year so far?
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  9. #9
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    Dec 2007
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    We flew with AK Heli a few years ago outside of Haines. Did a bunch of days touring up on Chilkat pass too, and wished we had sleds with us. Seems like camping somewhere in the vicinity of the Haines Highway summit with sleds, and then popping down to AK Heli (or Seaba) when the weather cooperated would make for a sweet trip. AK Heli is relatively cheap, and at least when we were there, there were plenty of guys that seemed to be skiing as walk-ons (they'd hop in an empty seat for a lap or two). That obviously presents the risk of hopping in with gapers though.

    No idea about weather up there this year.

  10. #10
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    your best skiing situation is what you already did. Chilkat Pass in March will most likely be a shit snowpack. I spent a few years skiing there and that is my observations. haines may be ok with a sled but access is difficult if you are touring with out. Juneau is really not worth considering. If you live there you could probably get some great days and cheap heli. But if the weather turns to shit you are stuck in Juneau. AKPM had a point sea level in 2019 is not a place to base yourself for skiing. Thompson Pass is off to a good start. I would just check www.mikerecords.com.
    off your knees Louie

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    We flew with AK Heli a few years ago outside of Haines. Did a bunch of days touring up on Chilkat pass too, and wished we had sleds with us. Seems like camping somewhere in the vicinity of the Haines Highway summit with sleds, and then popping down to AK Heli (or Seaba) when the weather cooperated would make for a sweet trip. AK Heli is relatively cheap, and at least when we were there, there were plenty of guys that seemed to be skiing as walk-ons (they'd hop in an empty seat for a lap or two). That obviously presents the risk of hopping in with gapers though.

    No idea about weather up there this year.
    Same scenario would be viable around Thompson/Valdez.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2008
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    Alaska Rendezvous! Near Thompson Pass, for $25 a night you can plug your RV into their lot, use their showers, bar/restaurant/pool table. Single day Heli is 1100. They might even do half days for half that if you ask nicely. Great operation.


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  13. #13
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    your best skiing situation is what you already did. Chilkat Pass in March will most likely be a shit snowpack.
    I've been skiing Chilkat Pass for the past decade+, have had phenomenal, ski anything you see, pow turns in March and April. The past few (5?) seasons have been pretty bad. Last March was the worst, extremely low tide and sketchy snowpack. Juneau is currently low snow - could change easily, but the return of the warm blob in the Gulf of Alaska isn't helping.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendigo View Post
    I've been skiing Chilkat Pass for the past decade+, have had phenomenal, ski anything you see, pow turns in March and April. The past few (5?) seasons have been pretty bad. Last March was the worst, extremely low tide and sketchy snowpack. Juneau is currently low snow - could change easily, but the return of the warm blob in the Gulf of Alaska isn't helping.
    my experience has been in the past 6 years. I never felt totally confident in the snowpack. here is some chilkat pass photos from a good day
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    skiing with the mayor always fired up
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    off your knees Louie

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurred View Post
    Eagle crest was reporting 11" base a week ago, and 22" today. Is that normal for this time of year? Or has it been a lackluster year so far?
    It seems to be currently taking all of our snow
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  16. #16
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    Bumping this thread as I've literally been gifted a free trip to Anchorage in March by my work (all the more improbable, as I work in public media).

    I am trying to turn this trip into a heli ski trip and a few days at Alyeska or bc. Am solo, looking for people to ski w/ at Alyeska or bc around there and looking for rooms / couches to sleep on. Will be skiing Feb 28 through Mar 3, hopefully a heli day on Mar 3. Looking for a place to stay on the cheap those days.

    Thinking of renting a car in anchorage, driving to girdwood, staying there for a few days, then back to anchorage for work meetings. Does that plan make sense?

  17. #17
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    Makes sense. I would stay in anchorage while working there. If your work brings you in contact with the editor of the Alaska Energy Desk you could enquire about her husband as a bc ski partner. But to be forwarned you better be fit.

  18. #18
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    If you have Facebook find the Alaska backcountry ski addiction page for partners and bc conditions beta.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  19. #19
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    Best Alaska skiing situation in March?

    I wouldn’t pin the heli day down, it’s not how it works. Be flexible and maybe PM Akturnandburn.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    ZA
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    Try and be as independent as possible and not limited by what a heli guide will take you on. Most heli guests are pretty average skiers who are not comfortable in steeps, and that is the level that heli ops and their so called "guides" cater for.

    Do exactly what you did last time and dont bother with the heli ops unless you are best friends with a guide who is a ripping skier and he guarantees he'll get you onto rad terrain.

    Either way the down days suck, and there are lots of them in AK.

  21. #21
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    Oct 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by stantonbum1 View Post
    Try and be as independent as possible and not limited by what a heli guide will take you on. Most heli guests are pretty average skiers who are not comfortable in steeps, and that is the level that heli ops and their so called "guides" cater for.
    Meaning ski backcountry/tour unless I know a heli guide? Seeing as I may never have the chance to do this again - I'm thinking I'll just stay in girdwood and fly any of those days if it works. Don't really want to spend $1400 to ski dentist terrain though...

    And thanks, chugachjed - no facebook account unfortunately

    will reach out to some of the alaska public folks too

  22. #22
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    Aug 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    I'm thinking I'll just stay in girdwood and fly any of those days if it works. Don't really want to spend $1400 to ski dentist terrain though...
    You'll be lucky if you even get to ski dentist terrain with just 3 days open to fly.

  23. #23
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    Oct 2016
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    tahoe de chingao
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    Thanks. Worth bringing out the protests? Or should I just bring bibby's and call it good?

  24. #24
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    Thanks. Worth bringing out the protests? Or should I just bring bibby's and call it good?
    In Alaska heli you will encourage all conditions. So bring a ski that's good in powder, but will also hold a good edge on ice. You may need it.

    And stiff, there will be wind affected snow

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    In Alaska heli you will encourage all conditions. So bring a ski that's good in powder, but will also hold a good edge on ice. You may need it.

    And stiff, there will be wind affected snow

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    We were there when Warren Miller was filming. We had a rainy week--skied about a day and a third of soft snow, but apparently the following week things got icy. My son saw the film and said the footage was of guys trying to hang on for dear life. Couldn't have made the owner happy.

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