S Couloir - AK
June 27, 2022
Yes rental cars are expensive but Uhauls aren't! And they're dark and roomy.
... we had quite the rainy spring. Like woof, so much cold and rain. With a trip planned to go to Alaska for our friends wedding (congrats Andi and Eric!) and decided it would also be a great idea to make the most of Anchorage's beautiful weather! We had three days and decided to ski, packraft and run because why not in a place where you can do all three!? If you're curious about my packrafting trip report, you can take a look here.
Also, Alaska travel tip! Looking for bear spray? This facebook page is where travellers post where they left bear spray for the next folks to find. No need to purchase!
Lil' wedding photo <3
From what we found in planning this ski, skiing in Alaska is more difficult than we thought in June, as low elevation stuff melts out and approahces get longer. Turns out if you're skiing out of Anchorage it's actually harder to get to snow than we thought! With the city being at sea level and the Chugatch Front Range being around 5k in elevation at it's peaks, there actually wasn't a ton of snow. However, our friend (thanks Emily!) turned us to the one classic that holds snow later in the year and we landed on S couloir off of Ptarmigan peak.
The approach is 3-4 miles one-way of flat walking along the "powerline trail" and if we had access to bikes we would have cycled, as it was long and flat! Though it was hard to have a bad time as it was GORGEOUS holy moley. We didn't bring skins, as things were pretty melted out and we simply booted up the 2,000ft couloir. It was steep at times (somewhere between 35 and 45 degrees) but the conditions were perfectly soft and booting was a breeze. Our first two turns from the top were admittedly a little spooky but after two turns, we felt at home on our slidy sticks and zoomed on down. Such a type 1 fun couloir!
The front range of the Chugatch really showed us a grand time.
The couloir in the background with good ol' Alaskan fireweed in the foreground
Thanks Dan for making me look good in pics ;)
Lots of skis-on-back time!
Looking up the couloir from the bottom
Total mileage of the day- 13mi
Total elevation gain - 3,000ft
Total moving time - 7 hours - we were in no rush, ha!
Max slope angle of the day - 35-45 degrees
Song that was stuck in my head all day - "Revolution Lover" by Left at London