Valdez Ski Touring Week 2018

Valdez is well known for its heli skiing, and the Thompson Pass area is one of our favorite ski mountaineering areas in the U.S. The mountains are wild and spectacular, but surprisingly easy to summit on skis. The snow pack is very maritime and therefore perfect for steeper lines. The fact that we get to stay in the port town of Valdez and enjoy great salmon dinners night after night makes this a uniquely Northwest American experience.

April 16, 2018 - April 21, 2018

$2,150.00
Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System

Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience

Fitness Level: Strenuous

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 4:1,6:2
Valdez is well known for its heli skiing, and the Thompson Pass area is one of our favorite ski mountaineering areas in the U.S. The mountains are wild and spectacular, but surprisingly easy to summit on skis. The snow pack is very maritime and therefore perfect for steeper lines. The fact that we get to stay in the port town of Valdez and enjoy great salmon dinners night after night makes this a uniquely Northwest American experience.
The cost of the trip includes:
Hotel cost and breakfast, transportation to and from Thompson Pass, permit fees, guide fees.  
The cost of the trip does not include:
Flight cost to Valdez, rescue insurance, dinners and lunches, heli lifts (if this becomes an option).
Suggested itinerary:
Day One:  Our first day skiing in the Chugach will be geared towards getting adjusted to the terrain, finding some excellent views, and making our first turns in Alaska.  We will tour from Thompson Pass up among the peaks that segment the Twenty-seven Mile Glacier in a loop that brings us back to our starting point at the end of the day.
Day Two:  Our goal will be to tour up and ski the Berlin Wall, a classic Valdez line and a great introduction to the steep skiing so classic in this area.  Our high point will be 5,740 feet with many additional ski descent options available.
Day Three:  Let's ski north of the road and go up the broad expanse of the Worthington Glacier towards Girls Mountain.  This is a longer tour that takes us through big terrain and offers a classic steep line off the summit at 6,134 ft.
Day Four:  Today we ski “The Python”.  This striking feature offers the potential for ski descents in many directions, and is another Valdez classic ski descent.
Day Five:  Our biggest tour of the trip:  Mt. Dimond.  This peak tops out at 7,202 feet, with several world-class descents from its summit, glaciers clinging to several aspects, and knife-edge ridges leading to the summit. 
Day Six:  This final day can take a variety of forms.  Our options vary from seeking out another large peak to finding and skiing the best corn available at the pass…the plan is open to best fit the conditions and finish our week in Alaska with a great day of skiing. 
 
Please be aware that this is a suggested itinerary. It may have to be changed due to weather and or condtions. Depending on the wishes of the group, we might also incorporate a heli back country drop into the program. The cost of this drop is not included in the advertised price. 



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EQUIPMENT LIST
If you are in need of any of these items, please follow the red links to see the equipment we have tested, recommend, and sell through our online retail shop, Pro Ski and Mountain Service.

CLOTHING


          BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            1 Top - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners
o            Ski Socks
          MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
          OUTERWEAR
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Schoeller™  Type Pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves
o            Ski Gloves
PERSONAL GEAR
o            Day Pack – 25 to 40 Liters
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth, hydration system
o            Lunch and Snacks - appropriate for a full day outing
o            Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o            Goggles
o            Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o            Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. 
SKI GEAR
o            Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark
o            Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark – no downhill boots
o            Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o            Climbing Skins
o            Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!
o            Ski Brakes
SAFETY GEAR
o            Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only
o            Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o            Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
TECHNICAL GEAR
o            Ice Axe - 55-70cm length, lightweight
o            Boot Crampons - check fit prior to departure
o            Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style (no padding)
         GLACIER TRAVEL KIT
o            2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) reg. locker
o            3 Non-locking Biners - any style, wire gates are nice
o            2 Cordelettes - 6mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o            1 Sewn Sling - nylon or spectra, double-length
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Compass - adjustable declination a must
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o            Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS  
o            Ropes
o            Technical Group Gear, VHF radio or SAT phone
o            Group 1st Aid Kit