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| | |-+  March 20-something'th, Haines Pass, Yukon
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Author Topic: March 20-something'th, Haines Pass, Yukon  (Read 1586 times)

Posts: 256

March 20-something'th, Haines Pass, Yukon
« on: 03/24/16, 06:13 PM »

Just got back from a week in Haines, Alaska. I was in town for the second annual Freeride World Tour event held there. It was pretty dope, I got third place! This post however is about actually skiing, which isn't as easy as some imagine when heading to Haines. Some beta follows which may be useful if you end up there.

Motorized options:

First, sure you can heli ski. My advice is to go with up to $10,000 you can spend with a group of friends who have the same outlook. The ideal way to heliski is with a private guide and aircraft. Hanging out and trying to get a few days of a few runs each will almost surely result in disappointment. Go big or don't go. 

This year SEABA has their snow cat back in operation and they offer cat skiing on the "Old Faithful" terrain above the 26-mile staging area.

Snowmobile rentals and guides are available at a few places in the area, or if you're a true sledneck you'll bring your own up from the lower-48 and truly slay it.

Next, Fly Drake and the ski plane. This can be challenging waiting for conditions for light and snow, plus other groups who may have been waiting longer, but this is truly an awesome way to ski. Drake can drop you for a day and pick you up again, he can drop you in places where its possible to return to the highway under your own power, he can drop you with enough gear to live on a glacier for an extended period, he can use a big 3-passenger ski plane to put you on flat landing strips, or use his 1-passenger super cub to put you in spots you wouldn't imagine an airplane could land. Or just jump in for a scenic flight through some of the most ridiculous mountains and glaciers around.

Ski touring:
Mt. Ripinsky is right above town and has some great N-facing bowls and absolutely incredible summit views. But access is kinda tricky. You can hike from town up the S ridge but that doesn't really get you to the skiing. Best is to drive six miles from town past the ferry terminal to an obvious road cut through the forest, which may be marked by snowmobile traffic. This is private property and you may need to ask around to secure permission to pass along the trail. On warm years (like this one) you may be carrying your skis on your back a ways before you are skinning. On a colder year you will ski from the car.

Most of the other ski touring is up at Haines pass, across the Canadian border in Yukon Territory. There is some fun tree skiing just a few miles past the border on the right (east) side of the road which is worth a look for storm days.

Further along on the same side of the the road is the mountain Three Guardsmen. There is great though wind-exposed skiing on multiple aspects of this easy-to-access peak.

Even further and on the left (west) side of the road is Mt. Nadahini. This is a big, broad mountain with skiing on multiple aspects, some glaciers on the north and east sides, and non-glaciated terrain on the east ridge and south face. A bit of a longish, flat approach.

Finally, the best area we found was to park about five miles past the border, just after passing Five Mile Creek. There is some decent tree skiing on the east side of the road here, but we descended west into the river valley, crossed the river (myself barefoot, Dave through ankle-deep water with ski boots on), and ascended a somewhat exposed valley up to a glaciated plateau surrounded by gorgeous, small peaks. You may need waders or not be able to cross at all during higher runoff. Awesome skiing either for long-ish days or a reasonable place to camp for a longer stay. Inspiring yet definitely just scratching the surface of this incredible mountain region.

Jake the Brit

Posts: 362

Re: March 20-something'th, Haines Pass, Yukon
« Reply #1 on: 03/24/16, 08:23 PM »

That photo is just breathtaking..................

Posts: 465

Re: March 20-something'th, Haines Pass, Yukon
« Reply #2 on: 03/25/16, 08:03 AM »

Great line in Haines! Barring the midway traverse shoulda gotten first in my humble opinion...

10K$?  Any precedence for stowaways??



Posts: 515

Re: March 20-something'th, Haines Pass, Yukon
« Reply #3 on: 03/25/16, 07:47 PM »

Congrats on the 3rd!!

Sounds amazing, one of these days. Hopefully to one day see my boy competing up there Wink
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