February 5, 2012

2012 Anchorage Front Range

With double the normal snowfall at Anchorage airport, it's no wonder that the front range has an exceptional snowpack.  From Rabbit Creek on the south to Ship Creek on the north, the front range has thousands of acres of great skiing terrain.  Rising between forks of Campbell Creek, Wolverine Peak commands the central part of the Anchorage front range.  The greater Wolverine Peak bowl area from Near Point to Rusty has so much great skiing that it's nearly beyond description.  From classic crosscountry routes on established trails to alpine touring on 40-degree chutes, and everything in between is really good.  Wind-blown, rocky ridges give the appearance of poor skiing, but like of other parts of the front range, it's really not difficult to find powder in the greater Wolverine Peak bowl.

Cruising around the below tree line the past couple of days with Sam, Fran and Julie was so much fun in the sun with powder.  The untracked experience in the alpine country with Eruk today was a great tour.  We skied the south face of Near Point, crossed the basin and skied the gulley of Rusty's north face.  
Meadows of Near Point
One of many moose in the greater Wolverine Peak bowl
Reliable Lines in Greater Wolverine Peak Bowl
The descent lines on the map above show where I usually find powder, some more than others.  Lots of alders can lead to some frustrating bushwhacking, especially on south facing slopes, but careful selection of the route linking open meadows will lead to Near Point nirvana.  Significant avalanche hazard exists on several of these lines.  Wind often loads the north-facing aspects with snow that I've seen avalanche.  Rocks are another risk, especially above treeline, outside of swales and gullies.


Elfy said...

Hi there,

I'm planning a skin up the dome, and back to Kanchee peak. The belly of snow in the bowl looks pretty filled in. Have you been on that? Interested in going?

Great blog. I never knew there were names of runs in the front range.

Alaska Jack said...

Kanchee looks great this season.
I haven't been there, but I'd like to ski it.

Elfy said...

Want to give it a shot tomorrow? Sunday, March 25

Alaska Jack said...

I checked it out Saturday and it's wind hammered, so I don't think I'll make Sunday Mar-25.