Just got back from Valdez/Thompson and I believe they just got a 5 foot plus reset up there, which is nice. Anything off the top of the pass is pretty straight forward, skin up...ride down. I highly recommend sleds if you have them to access terrain. Some of the best is pretty far back. Towards Valdez the snow pack is more maritime and also more susceptible to warm temps at this point. If you go into town there's a shop called the Prospector that can give you beta on any of the lines near town and snow conditions.
From Thompson Pass looking south you'll see the main gullys (there's 3), the Little Matterhorn, towards the center, Berlin Wall behind Gully 3, and Python in the left corner. Here's a picture:
The opposite side (Worthington Glacier side) has some really cool ski mountaineering options like Tones Temple, but you'll need to have the gear for glacier travel.
If you're feeling confident check out the Books (you'll see them on the way to Valdez, sweet sweet spines) but they are sled/heli access and the sled access is difficult at best. It's also a good bit of glacier travel just FYI.
That's pretty vague but I'd be happy to get more specific if you know what type of terrain you want to get into. Have fun!
In my view, Thompson Pass is the place to be right now with Turnagain coming in second. You could get to the Pass and just start skinning off the highway into some great terrain. For intel you should try and get Matt Kinney's book which is a great intro to the area. http://www.thompsonpass.com/Home/Home/Home.html
There is also great ridding out of the Pass near town or across the Lowe river. This area can be accessed by parking at mile 19, crossing the river and you are in great terrain. A sled would be very helpful but this is doable on skins. Stone Mtn is where you would be.
Post subject: Re: Upcoming Spring Alaska Trip: Bomber or Eklutna Traverse
Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:28 pm
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 am Posts: 290 Location: Girdwood, AK!!!
I was going to suggest the Snowbird Hut as well which is just a small piece of the Bomber Traverse. I think it has better riding options than the Eklutna Traverse. Both Thompson and Turnagain are unbelievable passes, but they are not traverses nor do they have huts to hike to and stay in. It sounds like you've done your homework though. So fly up here, check out the weather and snow conditions of each place and pick the best one. You never know until you go, and you do not have to reserve the huts, just show up.
_________________ If you had a moderate chance of being shot in a bar, would you go in? -Tom Kimbrough, former Utah forcaster