We rolled over the lip at the site of the old military ski area and skied excellent powder on a more open southwest facing slope below the present-day Arctic Valley Road, an area once served by a surface lift. The USGS map still shows 4 ski lifts, but the southern most on the map, a chairlift which had been operated by the military, was removed in the 1990's. The surface lift is not shown on the USGS maps and was removed in the 1960's; but if you look carefully, you can still see the roof of the old warming hut. This website has more history: http://www.alsap.org/ArcticValley/ArcticValley.htm
Only (mentally) disabled skiers ski this brush
From the Anchorage Powder Guide:
Ship Creek is one of those play and then pay runs because it descends from the road. It is one of the few areas I have skied and never seen another skier (outside of my party) nor have I seen other tracks, other than my own. It is the site of a long demolished lift marked by the abandoned lodge still standing at the bottom of the old lift site.
Skiing Vertical and Distance: 1300 feet vertical; 2 mile ascent
Getting There: Two options exist for parking. My preferred option is parking near the gate for the old military ski area. As you are driving up Arctic Valley Road, above timberline, about a quarter mile before you reach the ski area parking, there will be another (probably unplowed) road on your right leading to the razed lodge facilities for the military lift. A second parking option is the large pull out at the Ship Creek Trailhead.
Descent: From the Ship Creek Trailhead, ski or walk up the road to the spur road leading to the old military ski area. Ski along the access road for the old military area beyond the gate, then look for a gap in the alders to drop off the road to skier’s right. Then traverse to skier’s left and the run will open up. Alder patches and other brush create the need for some route finding, but it is fairly easy to link the open areas together with little to no bushwhacking. It is not a bad idea for first timers to ski the developed trail from Ship Creek Trailhead to become oriented with the trail switchbacks.
Ascent: The Ship Creek Trail descends from the Arctic Valley Road to the Creek, some 1300 feet vertical below the road. After skiing approximately 700 feet vertical down the run, either traverse to skier’s right to the Ship Creek Trail, or continue descending the fall line to Ship Creek Trail, then follow Ship Creek Trail back up to the road. Erring toward skiers’ right is the best policy to avoid missing Ship Creek Trail, but traversing too high up will cause you to do more bushwhacking than necessary.