Guided Ski Mountaineering in Valdez, Alaska

Valdez is a dramatic town in the Chugach Mountains on the edge of Prince William Sound. The economy is oil-based, but during the spring months the city comes alive with skiers from around the world seeking the legendary steep powder.

Each day we will commute to Thompson Pass to ski. Options range from 4,000-foot runs from summits, long backcountry linkups, multi-day base camp and heli touring. Most of the touring in the Valdez area is on glaciers, but the glaciers are relatively benign and no previous glacier travel experience is required.

Over the years I have spent months skiing and leading guided trips in the Valdez and Thompson Pass area. These trips range from easy day tours, legendary runs such as the Cherry Couloir and 9,000-foot day tours. In 2005 Andrew Wexler and I completed the 185-mile Chugach Crusher, a tour that started in Anchorage and finished 18 days later in Valdez.

See Valdez Posts

Skill Level

  • Advanced alpine skiing ability
  • Previous backcountry skiing experience
  • Endurance for consecutive full days in the mountains
  • Recent avalanche companion rescue practice. We will have assessment and review before our tour. 

Dates

December through late April. March and April have the ski best conditions. 

Sample Itinerary

Day 0: Pre-trip meeting for trip overview, gear check and last minute purchases. 

Day 1: Drive to Valdez. About six hours. 

Day 2: Ski Thompson Pass. Stay in Valdez or optional camping. 

Day 3: Ski Thompson Pass. Stay in Valdez or optional camping. 

Day 4: Ski Thompson Pass. Stay in Valdez or optional camping. 

Day 5: Ski Thompson Pass. Stay in Valdez or optional camping. 

Day 6: Ski Thompson Pass. Stay in Valdez or optional camping. 

Day 7: Ski Thompson Pass, drive to Anchorage. 

Cost 

  • 1 client: $4,000 per person
  • 2 clients: $2,500 per person
  • 3 clients: $2,000 per person
  • 4+ clients: $1,750 per person
  • Contact Joe for custom itinerary and quote
  • Booking

Includes

  • AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock. Up to eight clients. A second guide may be added. 
  • Six nights lodging at Anna's B&B in Valdez
  • Breakfast and dinner in Valdez 
  • Navigation, first aid and repair kits
  • Emergency shelter and communication
  • Rope
  • Bookings in Valdez

Does Not Include

  • Travel to Alaska and to Valdez 
  • Guide transport to Valdez. The guide(s) will either ride with you, or fly (additional $400). 
  • Travel within Alaska  
  • Backcountry food 
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Personal gear. See Alaska Backcountry Ski Gear List
  • Rescue and trip insurance. See Booking for details. 

Extras (ask for custom itinerary and cost)

  • Glacier camping. 
  • Heli skiing: ~$1,100 per person per day. 
  • Heli drop: $500-$1,000 for one lift with four skier seats. Ask about availability. 
  • Snowmachine taxi: $150 per person per ride. Ask about availability. 

Photos from Valdez Ski Trips