Hurricane Ridge Guided Backcountry Skiing
‘Hurricane Ridge’ refers to a significant amount of terrain accessed by the Hurricane Ridge road, which rises from sea level to 5,200′ feet in 17.5 miles. The Ridge offers some of the best backcountry skiing, riding, and winter access in the state.
For Pacific Alpine Guides, this is our home terrain, and we know it well. The experience of skiing powder in the Olympic Mountains, looking down on waves crashing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is only available here. The Ridge has an aura of wildness that you seldom find skiing in the Cascades.
The terrain is diverse, offering open bowls, perfectly spaced trees, high alpine ridges, steep chutes…secret lines and stashes are abundant. Some of the main areas include Maggies, Steeple Rock, Klahhane Ridge, Hurricane Hill, Mt. Angeles, and Rocky Peak.
One of the best attributes of Hurricane Ridge skiing is there is literally no approach. At the end of the day you’ll find yourself making high quality turns right to the car.
In addition to guided day skiing at Hurricane Ridge, we offer a 3 day / 2 night package with lodging at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles. More info here: Olympic Mountains Backcountry Package
We offer guided day backcountry skiing and riding at Hurricane Ridge on a custom basis for private groups and individuals. We also offer a 3 day package that includes 2 nights lodging in Port Angeles. Contact us for more info.
We meet on Friday morning at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles for introductions and a quick gear check. From here we drive up the Hurricane Ridge Road to the starting point of our tour for the day. A At the trailhead, we may run through a brief companion rescue practice/review before setting off. We try to match participants based on ability levels. Tours will be chosen based on group interests and motivation levels, as well as weather and avalanche conditions.
HURRICANE RIDGE BACKCOUNTRY SKIING & RIDING
Need rental gear? Items with the RENT link are available through us.
☐ SKIS with TOURING BINDINGS – AT, TELE, or SPLITBOARD: Your setup needs to be suitable for uphill touring and downhill skiing/riding.
☐ BOOTS: AT, tele or snowboard boots.
☐ POLES: Adjustable poles with powder baskets.
☐ CLIMBING SKINS: Fit to skis.
☐ SKI CRAMPONS (OPTIONAL): Recommended, especially for splitboard setups.
AVALANCHE SAFETY GEAR
☐ TRANSCEIVER: Modern digital transceiver, preferably less than five years old. A 3-antennae model is highly recommended. RENT
☐ SHOVEL: A metal blade and extendable handle are recommended. RENT
☐ PROBE: Dedicated probe, ski pole probes are not sufficient. RENT
There are many possible layering combinations for your upper body. Use the following recommendations as guidelines:
☐ BASELAYER TOP: Light to medium weight synthetic fabric.
☐ LIGHTWEIGHT INSULATING LAYER: Light fleece or synthetic layer.
☐ SOFTSHELL or SHELL JACKET with HOOD: For wind, snow, rain, cold, etc.
☐ PUFFY JACKET: Synthetic or down with a hood.
☐ BASELAYER BOTTOMS (OPTIONAL): Medium weight.
☐ SKI PANTS: Lightweight, well ventilated softshell or hardshell ski pants.
☐ SOCKS: Wool or synthetic, they should work well with your ski boots. Keep in mind that warmth comes from good circulation, not heavy socks.
☐ SUNGLASSES: Glacier glasses or dark tinted wrap-arounds, should have full UV protection.
☐ GOGGLES: Preferably with low light lenses (amber or rose) and UV protection.
☐ WARM HAT
☐ SUN HAT
☐ FACE PROTECTION: Buff® recommended.
☐ HELMET (OPTIONAL)
☐ LIGHT GLOVE
☐ SKI GLOVE
☐ SUNSCREEN: SPF 30 or greater.
☐ LIP BALM: With SPF protection.
☐ WATER BOTTLE(S) or HYDRATION SYSTEM: Should have a screw top (no bike bottles); hydration system should have an insulated tube.
☐ CAMERA: Don’t forget extra batteries.
☐ EXTRA BATTERIES: For your transceiver, camera, etc.
☐ HEADLAMP RENT
☐ SEE DETAILS
☐ REPAIR KIT: We suggest carrying a small repair kit with items specific to your ski or splitboard equipment. Extra binding parts (including mounting screws), an extra tip loop for your skins, an extra pole basket, etc. Other great MacGyver items are bailing wire, zip ties, and duct tape.
☐ WAX: For skis and to prevent snow from glomming onto your skins.
- Some previous ski touring experience is recommended.
- Intermediate skiing or riding ability is required.
- Good physical fitness is required.
- Guiding and instruction
- 4:1 ratio (5:1 max)
- Food, lodging & transportation
- Park entrance fees (free with park pass)
WHERE TO MEET
Olympic National Park Visitor Center, in Port Angeles, WA.
Address: 3002 Mount Angeles Road Port Angeles, WA 98362
Fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From here the drive to Port Angeles takes about 2.5 hours.
Many options exist in Sea-Tac. There’s also a Budget Rent-A-Car in Port Angeles.
- Olympic Bus Lines offers twice daily shuttles from Sea-Tac to Port Angeles.
- Rocket Transportation offers door to door service between Sea-Tac and Port Angeles by reservation.
There are many options in Port Angeles including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and hostels.
Check out our Weather & Avalanche Resources page.
- Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering by Martin Volkin, Scott Schell, and Margaret Wheeler.
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