Get Out: Hatcher Pass
It may be hard to believe, but there are rumors that there is actually a place not too far from Anchorage that actually has snow. In this week’s Get Out I traveled to a spot north of Anchorage to see if the rumors were true.
The ski trails in Anchorage are pretty sad looking to say the least. Many are more suited for skates than skis. So, my goal this week was to find a place where the snow is deep and skiable.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have to travel far. The rumors I heard about Hatcher Pass having snow were true.
“There is decent snow. As soon as you get off trail you will probably drop down to hip level, knee level in some areas. So it’s pretty decent,” said skier Donna Check of Wasilla.
I skied up to Independence Mine and I must say the conditions were amazing with the weather we have seen this winter.
“Ski conditions, they are doing an awesome job grooming it and staying up on it and it’s just really bringing a lot of people out,” Check said. “It’s a good social thing. It’s nice and nice. What more can I say? It’s Alaska.”
The great thing about the pass is it’s not just for cross-country skiing in winter.
“I come up here probably five or six times a week. I do a lot of backcountry skiing too; you just can’t beat the terrain and the views up here,” said skier Tom Quinby fof Palmer. “It’s just great access and we’re really lucky to have this in our backyard.”
The most unique part of skiing the mine section of Hatcher Pass is that you can also get a history lesson during your ski.
“Not only do you have the mountain views you have the history behind it all,” Check said. “And they’ve got all the signs up that you can read about the history of it so you can kind of educate yourself and appreciate it even more.”
Since it still doesn’t look like we will see snow in Southcentral anytime soon, you may want to head up to Hatcher Pass if you want to strike it rich and ski great snow.
For grooming reports for the pass: http://www.snowio.com/index.php
For avalanche reports: http://hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org