2022-23 Season

Get out your touring skis for a great and safe ski. You will experience un-groomed trails using fish scales and metal edges with a group of like-minded individuals! Meet future friends, enjoy some sweet powder, bring the dog and thermos full of hot cocoa.  All of our tours feature the Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, a valued partner in keeping all skiers safe!


Based on the results of the past couple of seasons for tour sign up, attendance, and the size of the waitlist, we are trying something different this season. The tour schedule will be listed below for you to read about the tour specifics, dates, descriptions, etc as of October 1st. However; we won’t have the registration open for a tour until two weeks ahead of time. We’ll remind members of the date that a given tour registration will open. Registration will then be on a first come first serve basis. Hopefully, this will help with the issues experienced these last few seasons of tours being pre-booked early in the season before most members know to look at the schedule and then having them fill up with folks who can’t make it later.

By having the tour registration open two weeks before the tour date, the tour leads will have a better idea of weather and snow conditions for the scheduled tour and can make any changes before registration opens. Tour registrants will then be contacted with meet up time and location by the tour leads a few days before the tour. All cabin reservations will need to be paid for at time of registration.


COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

NSAA will follow all CDC guidelines and adhere to any changes of the Anchorage municipal code. Currently there is no mandatory COVID restrictions with any of our outdoor programs. For indoors masking is welcome and optional for any families making that choice. If any health climate changes, NSAA may update and change this policy.
Please note: the overnight cabin stays may have separate COVID requirements being that they are coordinated through additional vendors.
If you are positive with COVID or have any symptoms please stay home and do not participate in any NSAA activities or events until recovered. Please follow CDC guidelines for return to activities.


Before You Join a NSAA Backcountry Tour: 

1. Become a NSAA Member

Please note: that you MUST be a current NSAA member to join a tour. Renew or Join today!

Already a member? Login in to the NSAA Member Portal to sign up for a tour.

2. ​Pick a Tour

Find a tour that interests you and mark your calendar to save the date. Feel free to contact the tour leader with questions using the contact information provided in the schedule below.

Ski Tour Classifications

  • Easy I: 1 to 3 miles round trip on generally flat terrain. Suitable for beginners
  • Easy II: 3 to 6 miles round trip and up to 600 ft. elevation gain
  • Easy III: 6 to 8 miles round trip or 600 ft. to 800 ft. elevation gain
  • Moderate I: 800 ft. to 1100 ft. elevation gain
  • Moderate II: 1100 ft. to 1500 ft. elevation gain
  • Moderate III: 1500 ft. to 1800 ft. elevation gain
  • Advanced I: 1800 ft. to 2500 ft. elevation gain
  • Advanced II: Over 2500 ft. elevation gain

Advanced ski tours are generally on more difficult terrain and participants have developed efficiency and acquired skills for their safe backcountry ski travels. To go on an Advanced ski trip, you must be able to break trail for a period of time and must have excellent nordic/downhill skiing ability. In addition, you should carry a shovel, probe and avalanche beacon and know how to use them, plus any extra items required by the trip leader.

Scheduled Tours

Hatcher Pass OR Turnagain Pass (location TBD based on conditions), AT/Tele tour

January 15, 2023
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 3-5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1000-2500 feet
Tour Leader: Courtney Gerken, 907-317-5545; courtneylkgerken@gmail.com
  We’ll ski up the road that goes over the pass to April Bowl and then ski down the northeast face of April Bowl.  Depending on how the group is feeling, we can do multiple runs or try another nearby mountain.  Be sure to bring comfy warm layers and some good...

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Turnagain Pass OR Hatcher Pass (location TBD based on conditions), AT/Tele Tour

January 28, 2023
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 3-5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1000-2500 feet
Tour Leader: Tim Davis, 713-213-1168; timothy.davis@utexas.edu or Courtney Gerken, 907-317-5545; courtneylkgergen@gmail.com
Grab some sturdy skis, climbing skins, and avalanche safety gear, and we will search for powder turns in the beautiful mountains of Turnagain Pass or Hatcher Pass. We will spend much of the day “touring for turns” and stopping often to enjoy the mountain views. Be...

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Matanuska Glacier

February 11, 2023
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 10 miles total
Elevation Gain: Downhill at beginning, climb at end, generally flat
Tour Leader: Contact Joe Meehan, 907-884-2994, joeonrabbitcreek@gmail.com
We’ll ski to the toe of the mighty Matanuska Glacier.  The ski will be on and off the frozen creek and through some brush, but mostly open terrain.  We’ll ski approximately 9 miles with a lunch stop at the glacier.  Be prepared for cold and wind. Make sure you have...

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Hidden Lake OR Gold Mint OR SOMEWHERE ELSE (location TBD based on snow conditions)

February 25, 2023
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 10-12 miles total
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
Tour Leader: Mary Vavrik; 907-306-7686; mvavrik@gci.net
We’ll ski somewhere fun, depending on snow conditions.  Hidden Lakes/Ship Pass are off of Powerline Pass, and Nancy Lakes State Park has a fun loop with rolling hills.  Meeting location TBD, depending on skiing conditions. Be prepared for cold, wind, and good times. ...

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Skookum Glacier, Kenai Mountains

March 12, 2023
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 12 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Tour Leader: Joe Meehan; 907-884-2994; joeonrabbitcreek@gmail.com
This will be a kick and glide tour up to the Skookum Glacier.  On a sunny day, we’ll enjoy incredible views of the glacier, Byron and Carpathian Peaks.  Because it’s spring, we have to worry about the warmth instead of the cold.  Depending on snow conditions, we may...

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Reed Creek Overnight Backcountry Camping, Talkeetna Mountains

April 8-9, 2023
Level: Moderate I
Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Tour Leader: Mary Vavrik; 907-306-7686, mvavrik@gci.net
Travel under the rugged and beautiful peaks of Archangel Valley and up Reed Creek for  a spectacular weekend of skiing and winter camping. Expect to ski about 3 ¾ miles before we set up camp, gaining about 500 feet of altitude in that distance.  Camp will be set up...

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Denali View Chalet, two overnights, Peters Hills

April 14-16, 2023
Level: Easy II
Distance: 8 miles one way to chalet
Elevation Gain: Generally flat, with rolling terrain
Tour Leader: Karlene Leeper at 907-440-0049 with questions; kbleeper@gci.net
Enjoy the weekend at a rustic Alaskan lodge on Kroto Lake south of Mt. McKinley.  Ski 8 miles into the lodge with just a day pack.   Your gear and food will be brought in by the chalet owner on a snowmachine.   Enjoy awesome views of Denali, fantastic company,...

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Backcountry “Crust” Skate Skiing, location TBD

April 22, 2023
Level: Easy III
Distance: 6 – 8 miles
Elevation Gain: Rolling terrain
Tour Leader: Zachary Liller, 907-717-3419; zwliller@yahoo.com
Meet up location: TBD Meet up time: 7:00 AM There is nothing quite like gliding efficiently through backcountry terrain on skinny little skate skis. In most years, early spring in Alaska offers a “unicorn” ski experience for those willing to get up early and search...

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