Turnagain Pass, AK Backcountry Report:

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Interactive map of Turnagain Pass, AK.  Zoom out to see more.

Treeline at Turnagain Pass, Alaska.
Treeline at Turnagain Pass, Alaska with Turnagain Arm in the background.

We headed up to Turnagain Pass from Girdwood, AK today for a quick skin and ski.  Cloudy to partly cloudy skies with some nice sun bursts got us on the trail with high hopes.  About 3 inches of “new”, wet, slushy snow covered the slopes but didn’t cover the trees.  Spring is here in AK for sure.

Climbing up at Turnagain Pass.
Climbing up at Turnagain Pass.

After about 40 minutes of skinning we reached treeline at 2,300 feet and stopped.  Clouds had rolled in more on our hike and left the sun behind.  Going above treeline in the flat light wan’t going to be fun so we decided to drop right there.

Turnagain Pass turns today.
Turnagain Pass turns today.

I wasn’t expecting anything fun, but the 3 wet inches skied very well considering and the terrain was a blast.  Kinda like Whistler with little drops, pillows, short steeps, benches the whole way down to 1,000 feet.  On a powder day, this terrain would be crazy fun, especially if you knew where all the pillow were.

Fun terrain in the trees.
Fun terrain in the trees.

Looking around, you can clearly see that Turnagain Pass has sick terrain.  Steep spines in January and February and steep couloirs in March and April.  We’ll be back later this week when the golden orb returns and I look forward to getting into some fun terrain.

Gliding out
Gliding out.  You can see the rolly, pillowy, fun terrain in the background.

Off to Hatcher’s Pass tomorrow with hopefully a bit more sun.  We’ll see.

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