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by: Tim Kelley

Ski Season 2021-22: This Winter's Ski Trip Reports ... Pending

I try for "no repeats" on this web site, and only post trip reports for new routes or places that I ski.  So until I ski something new ... nothing new to share here.

Winter or summer, it can help to have your equipment checked out by experts.  This summer we had the experts of the State of Alaska ATV Inspection Team check out our 4-wheeler and trailer.
Early October 2021: Will This Be A "9 Month Ski Season" In Anchorage?

Hillside 'Double Bubble' trail, September 25, 2021

"In Anchorage, Alaska ... we have a 9 month ski season."

The above statement is fun to say.  And every once in a long while, the above statement is true.  Well ... kinda, sorta true.  Let me explain ...

Every once in a while Anchorage has a ski season, within the Anchorage Bowl and excluding Glen Alps, that starts in September and ends in May.  Such a ski season can see ski-able snowfall in 9 months of the year.   Not continuous skiing for 9 months, but skiing in each of 9 months of the year.

Usually an Anchorage 9 month ski season starts out with late September skiing on a light snowfall on the golf course fairways at Russian Jack Springs Park.  Then that snow melts and October skiing comes for a few days when Hillside ski trails get a bit of snow.  The core ski season usually runs from November to April.  And then in rare cases, you can ski Hillside trails in early May.  Month number 9.

Of course, there is no official parameters on what the boundaries for defining a 9 month Anchorage ski season is.  I exclude Glen Alps, because that would make a 9 month ski season "too easy".  I have skied an early snowfall at Glen Alps in late August.  And I've crust skied out of Glen Alps in early June.  So that's 11 months.  And when you consider the Municipality of Anchorage boundaries extend far into the glaciated areas of Chugach State Park, 12 month ski seasons are possible every year.  So I choose the 'Anchorage Bowl' as the arena to make the 9 month ski season a sporting goal.

It's been ten years since we've had a 9 month ski season.  I believe the last one was in 2011.  But this year is starting out strong as a 9 month ski season candidate.  East Anchorage got hammered with snow, 6" to 20", on September 24th.  Skiing on Hillside Trails came to life for a few days.  Then a light snowfall brought a bit of skiing back in early October, like at the Storck Homestead Park in Bear Valley.  Who knows what the end of the ski season will bring.  But if early May has snow lingering on Hillside trails ... then it will be a rare Anchorage "9 month ski season" score.

Hemlock Burn Trail, 9/26/21 Storck Park in Bear Valley, 10/3/21 Powerline Pass Trail, 9/27/21

Alaska Backcountry XC Skiing