alaska range base camp skiing
fly-in ski touring in denali national park
Fly-in base camp trips are one of the best ways to experience the big mountains. We setup camp on the glacier where the plane lands, and with day packs set forth in new directions every day. Exploring the terrain around us
Skiing in an expedition environment with light day packs is liberating. All possibilities within a one-day striking distance of our centrally located camp are fair game. We choose our zone with intention, based on a number of factors including the weather forecast, current snowpack, and glacier conditions.
Finding incredible ski experiences is the main goal, and the glaciers on the perimeter of the range offer the most terrain options; aesthetic lines, ski mountaineering peaks, long glacier runs, steep couloirs...something for everyone.
If you have your own custom group, there can also be good reasons to base in one of the legendary zones in the heart of the range. These areas are favored by climbers and spectacular, but offer less terrain options and variety for skiing.
Ruth Glacier / Ruth Gorge: Spectacular scenic touring among legendary alpine climbs. There is some ski terrain admidst this alpine chaos, typically requiring long traverses of the glacier valley to get to a ski hill or nice cirque. Incredible views of Denali - a great place to go if alpine scenery is your top priority.
Don Sheldon Mountain House: Booked far enough in advance, we can base out of the Don Sheldon Mountain House, an alpine chalet in this wild Ruth Glacier setting.
Little Switzerland: Amazing steep lines threading the rock walls of this famous alpine climbing venue. Steep and committing skiing, requiring excellent stability.
Day 1 — MEET in ANCHORAGE, DRIVE TO TALKEETNA
Morning hotel pickup in Anchorage, followed by a team gear check. Talkeetna is a two hour drive, and there will be an opportunity to stop at a grocery store en route. Arrive in Talkeetna, safety briefing, organize and weigh our gear for the next day.
Day 2 — FLY into the ALASKA RANGE
We choose our zone based on weather, snow and glacier conditions in the range. Once we arrive, we setup our base camp and review mountain skills including glacier travel and companion rescue.
Day 3-6 — SKI ADVENTURE & EXPLORATION
Every day we set off for a different
Day 7 — FLY BACK TO TALKEETNA, DRIVE TO ANCHORAGE
We pack up our camp, and the plane arrives to fly us back to Anchorage. We recommend staying in Anchorage on this night.
Previous ski touring experience, advanced downhill skiing ability, and excellent physical fitness is required for this program. It is particularly important that you are comfortable skiing in [deep] powder snow.
6 days of guided ski touring in the Alaska Range
Ski plane flights
Transportation from Anchorage
Breakfasts and dinners in the mountains
Lodging in Talkeetna
Van transfers from Anchorage to Talkeetna
Flights to/from Anchorage
Additional hotel nights in Talkeetna if no-fly
ARRIVAL + DEPARTURE
Fly into Sapporo New Chitose Airport (CTS) or Asahikawa (AKJ). New Chitose has more flight options from the US, but Asahikawa is closer to Furano. Either work well, however we recommend avoiding itineraries that require transferring airports in Tokyo (Narita to/from Haneda).
Most departures from the US require leaving a day early. Travel times from the US average from 14-24 hours depending on connections.
From New Chitose Airport, you can get to Furano by bus, train, or private transfer. Direct bus service service is offered by Hokkaido Resort Liner and is the most popular option. There are multiple buses each day, however seats must be reserved at least 7 days in advance.
From Asahikawa Airport, Furano Bus offers service every 4 hours.
Outbound flights from Hokkaido often arrive in the US on the same day as a result of crossing the international dateline.