Splitboard.com Forums

The World's first exclusive splitboard discussion forums






It is currently Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:41 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:08 am
Posts: 26
Location: Swiss Alps
Going to spend some weeks in Alaska from next week on. Been to the US only once (in NYC...), it's the first time I'm flying with snowboard gear...
Got my split and solid with me and will stay in Fairbanks, Girdwood, Anchorage and Cordova.
On the bucket list so far is splitting, snowkiting, snowmobile tour around Anchorage/Girdwood; mushing, aurora watching (hopefully) in Fairbanks. And to have a look at Alyeska resort.
Will a "normal" car be ok to get from Anchorage to Girdwood or is a 4x4 necessary? What other "must do" did I miss? Any guides/operators you'd highly recommend? Diners with great food? Places to visit? etc...

Any hints are highly welcome!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:39 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:27 pm
Posts: 1449
Location: Denver
Hey! Look who made it over to splitboard.com. :D

No Alaska advice, but you found the right place to ask these questions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm
Posts: 939
Location: reiter hills
skip Fairbanks? drive around the kenai, sleep on the beach.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 21
Location: Fairbanks
Good timing. We are getting a solid reset in most areas.
Definitely skip Fairbanks if you want to ride. But if you want to see the sights that's cool.

Alyeska is getting snow. You need nothing special as far as a vehicle goes. I would get the cheapest car possible as roads are usually fine.
You should check out Hatcher Pass and Turnagain. Easily accessible riding right off the road.

Maybe check out Valdez. They are getting a large amount of snow this next week. Check out Black Ops for cat skiing or sleds.

If you are going to Cordova I think you can take a ferry from Valdez.

For food go with Mooses Tooth in Anchorage. Silver Gulch, Chena Pumphouse, or Lemongrass in Fairbanks. Best Western in Valdez.

Good luck, be safe. Here are some AK links to check out.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/show ... 014-Thread
http://www.thompsonpass.com/Home/Home/Home.html
http://www.cnfaic.org/advisories/current.php
http://hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org/
http://www.valdezavalanchecenter.org/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:08 am
Posts: 26
Location: Swiss Alps
Thanks a lot AK!
I've added the days in Fairbanks since we eagerly hope to see northern lights and I've read chances there are good. That part of the trip is not for riding, I know... but it's also an important part of our "AK adventure".
The other two weeks of the trip are devoted to riding, including heliboarding (BTW is that something one is allowed to mention or will I get crucified for being a hedonistic polluter? Anyway...)

Yea... been monitoring the weather/precipitation "over there" since Jan and was - uhm - a bit shocked by the temperatures and rain, and now very delighted to read about the storm hitting the coast. The winter was warm and dry in my home area, it almost broke my spirit to read that the year, when we finally manage to do this trip, is a "bad" year over there as well.

Hmmm... we are rather cautious... Maybe the terrain is easier to predict/conditions are usually better at yours, but here, death toll is very high each year, that makes us very reluctant to hike/ride in unfamiliar terrain without a local guide. To hike off a road is something unimaginable for me. I'm so curious to get there and see the differences/similarities.

Thanks a lot for the diner tips. I'm a foody, gonna try them all for sure. Good to hear that a normal car will work (I wouldn't recommend anyone to drive into the Swiss mountains without 4x4 or having snow chains in the trunk) that will save some bucks, since I calculated with a SUV.

BTW: Hi Killc!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 21
Location: Fairbanks
No it is cool to mention your heli access. In terms of guiding I actually have never been out with a guide. My crew is just supper conservative and we all have our Avy 1 or 2.

Joe Stock is a baller of a dude who guides in the Anchorage area. You can find him here: http://www.stockalpine.com/

For Valdez you could contact Matt Kinney. http://www.thompsonpass.com/Home/Home/Home.html

Chugach Powder Guides are solid and Black Ops in Valdez would treat you good.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:36 pm
Posts: 13
Turnagain pass is readily accessible and skin tracks will take you to any kind of alpine terrain you want, including very mild, fun terrain. If you don't find skin tracks going everywhere, you probably forgot to check the avy forecast and its bad, because we get after it when its anything but severe. Snowcat in girdwood might be worth it after this weekend, especially if you don't ski tree runs often. Fly in Valdez, skip Cordova, unless you got time and money to burn. Feel free to send me a personal message if you have any questions.

Fairbanks is a long trip on a northern lights whim unless you're staying for a couple weeks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 am
Posts: 312
Location: Girdwood, AK!!!
If you're going to Fairbanks to see Northern Lights, then you should go to Chena Hot Springs to stay. It's only 30 miles North of Fairbanks, and what better way to gaze the skies then from a hot pool.

Driving from Anchorage to Girdwood and Turnagain Pass is generally a breeze, no real need for a 4x4. Driving to Fairbanks can be a harrowing experience. Less people drive up there and therefore the road can be more prone to ice/black ice. It's a straight forward drive and not mountainous or anything, but it can be a long "white knuckle" drive… Take it slow, or fly for that matter.
Driving to Hatchers Pass can be sketchy and I would recommend a AWD or 4x4 for that one.

I recommend Glacier City Snowmobile Tours trip to Spencer Glacier out of Girdwood for snow machining, if Placer Valley is not open to snow machining when you get here… I wouldn't bother.

Most all Heli guides and services are about the same if you ask me. Hiking Turnagain is pretty obvious as pointed out above, but you can check out Wild Alpine Guides if you feel the need for guide services in the area. Definitely keep an eye on Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center for updated snow reports in the area. and Good Luck!

_________________
If you had a moderate chance of being shot in a bar, would you go in?
-Tom Kimbrough, former Utah forcaster


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:16 pm
Posts: 346
+1 on Chena. Get the fuck out of FAI ASAP! Though go to Thai House. Do Thai House and Lemongrass if you've got time but TH is the gold standard.

My take was that you were flying from FAI the ANC so don't worry about the car-except make sure it's front wheel drive. If they offer to upgrade you to a mustang (or other rear wheel drive car) don't take it. If you've got the skills to take care of yourself in the swiss alps then you can take care of your self in AK (at least from a touring perceptive). Though a tour guide will save you a lot of time and will get you access to thing that you wouldn't do without someone letting you know "it's ok, the line goes". Not much to add except I would go for Juneau instead of Cordova.

_________________
It is diffucult to assess ones own fuckedupness
Jones Solution 164, Fuse baseplates w/BM Bisquits, Salomon Malamutes


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:08 am
Posts: 26
Location: Swiss Alps
Yes, we do the longer distances to FAI and CDV (heli week) by plane. The flights and accommodation are already booked. Gonna add Valdez and Juneau to the to do list of a future AK vacation :D

The car will be to get around in FAI (if needed at all, not sure yet), and for day trips around ANC and to Girdwood. Interestingly, B&B owners of FAI and Girdwood both recommended to rent an AWD...

Thanks for the tips! Booked a tourguide and Glacier City Snowmobile Tours.

Any info on Alyeska? The outer area still is closed... I guess the recent storm didn't deliver enough snow. Is it still worth to spend some time there? (not interested in groomers) Are there tree runs? We never get to ride trees but I assume it's fun, so it would be cool to try. Or are snow conditions bad and I'm better off to plan to tour every day?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 am
Posts: 312
Location: Girdwood, AK!!!
At this point… Tour everyday! Outer areas are still all closed. The North Face is pretty much the only treed area on the mountain, and it has not opened nor does it look like it will open this season. It is still snowing now though so keep your fingers crossed.

_________________
If you had a moderate chance of being shot in a bar, would you go in?
-Tom Kimbrough, former Utah forcaster


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:16 pm
Posts: 77
Location: crested butte / canterbury (nz)
Thanks for the info everyone, I'm going to be there april 10th-22nd. Plan is anchorage, girdwood, and valdez. Try to get a good day of heli the rest splitting.


Some more info I've consolidated;
(from another thread here)

"Anchorage IS quite close to Alaska, only a 1/2 hour away. For starters, check out snowsavage's "Sunsets in the Frontcountry Chugach" in the TRs here. That should keep you busy til you find a car and can get out of Anchorage. Then drive South about an hour to Turnagain Pass and start with Tincan Peak. It's easy to find... A small parking lot on the left hand side at the top of the pass and generally filled with cars. There's a superhighway/skintrack to the top, and usually enough people there that you don't really need a partner. The next mountain down, Sunburst, has a lot of activity too and is a longer run. Then there's Magnum, Cornbiscuit, Movieland, Twin Peaks, Silvertip and on and on. And that's just on the left hand side of the highway! On the right hand side is Sunnyside which is motorized. That means bring a six pack or some gas money and hitch a ride up on a sled to some SICK bowls.
When you graduate from Turnagain and can really get out of Anchorage, drive 6 hours North to VALDEZ! You'll figure it out from there. Hope that helps and see ya in March



Don't know much about riding around Arctic Valley. I believe you can take the lift up and skin from the top though.
As far as Hatchers Pass, it's as far from Anchorage as Turnagain... just in the opposite direction. It is awesome though with lots of easy access riding. Do Not be talked into April Bowl though! It's a long approach for short runs in a bowl that is notorious for avalanching.
Snowsavage's TR talked of making turns after work in Anchorage. So it fits the 9-5 thing. I generally work nights and weekends myself. PM me when you get here and we'll try and get some turns in... I can pick you up on the way to Hatchers if I head up that way. Peace"


Good pictures for Valdez area mountains - http://retirement2valdez.blogspot.com/2 ... rkers.html

I got Joe Stock's and Kinney's books too been reading through


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska trip - got some hints for a AK noob?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:08 am
Posts: 26
Location: Swiss Alps
Fairbanks was worth the visit, the one night aurora quest was a lucky punch, had a great northern lights show :D
Now staying in Girdwood, weatherforcast announced bluebird the entire week - yay. Not a lot snow at sea level, but heard people saying that at Turagain Pass the snow is good...
Gotta say, really love Alaska so far. People are super nice and helpful, day after day sunshine, and the food is just splendid - oh... all this seafood!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gman, the mighty bighorn and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  





Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group