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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    squaw
    Posts
    141

    Wanted: Little Switzerland, AK beta

    Anyone spent any time skiing the Little Switzerland zone from the Pika Glacier in the AK range? Heading there with a buddy end of April and am scouring for beta! Most recent TR I found here was from 2013.

    We’ve both got ski patrol/guiding/climbing backgrounds and feel confident on most of the technical aspect of the trip. We got the guidebook and have been scouring for trip reports and anything else we can find. But this will be our first trip to AK and we’re expedition JONGs.

    Anyone been to that area that would be able to share pro tips? Must ski lines? Any camp life advice if the weather gets all Alaskan? Anything you wish you’d known on your first trip?

    I’d offer pics of my gf but she left me when she found out I don’t know how to do double backflips. I’m hoping to score in AK to show her just how rad I get.

    Help me send so that I can win her back!!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Arvada, CO
    Posts
    52
    I did 5 days there last June, the avalanche danger was unfortunately quite high (because June) so we didn't ski any gnar. Italy's boot or whatever is maybe the super classic of the zone but you can point yourself literally any direction from base camp and find a worthy ski objective. Best mellow line we skied is the west facing bit of glacier down from the Pika-Crown pass. The tour down to the Kahiltna is nice too, gotta check out the house-sized erratic down there. We brought a climbing rack too and that was well worth it especially given the avalanche conditions. Might make less sense in April though.

    As for camp life: think car camping when you're packing. You only have to drag everything a few hundred feet to camp from the airstrip. It's hard to hit the per-person weight limit and if you do the $1/pound rate will likely feel well worth it to bring the extra 6-pack or whatever. Big coleman cooler will keep your food and stuff a nice temperature. Full size knives and cutting boards etc. will make food prep way easier. We wore down booties which were warm but the bottoms are dangerously slippery in camp after a couple days. Jed Porter's recommendation that I'll second is to bring Sorels or similar instead. (He has a nice blog post on packing for a Little Switzerland ski trip). Cook tent is pretty mandatory (I assume this is obvious). Multiple stoves makes life easier.

    Stoked for you, should be a great time. Happy to answer any more specific questions if you've got them too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    ely
    Posts
    31
    Went there on a guided trip two years ago.
    Made the mistake of bringing "fast and light" skis thinking we'd have good powder on most aspects.
    Would have had more fun on fatter, heavier skis for the variable snow and deep powder on steep north aspects.
    Ascent plates were money!

    Here's the trip report.https://eastsidescott.blogspot.com/2...a-glacier.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    squaw
    Posts
    141
    Thank you both, super helpful. We’re fired up!!


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    front strange
    Posts
    152
    It's a great area, significant radness. I was there mid(?) April a bunch of years ago, maybe 10. Skied what's probably the coolest line I've ever skied, and a bunch of other good stuff. Sun has a big impact, and thus time of day vs aspect is highly important.

    Click image for larger version. 

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