North America, United States, Alaska, Neacola Mountains, Chugach Mountains, Ski Traverse

Publication Year: 2005.

Chugach Mountains, ski traverse. In April we skied from Valdez, Alaska, to the Glenn Highway by way of Mt. Thor and the Matanuska Glacier. We parked at the Valdez airport and slogged up the Valdez Glacier, over the steep Cashman Col, across the Tazlina and Science glaciers to the intimidating precipitation vortex of the Columbia Glacier. A corridor between Mt. Elusive and Mt. Valhalla offered a low-angle route up the east shoulder of Mt. Thor (12, 251'), the second highest peak in the Chugach. Wearing crampons we double-carried our kit down the aesthetic north ridge of Mt. Thor to the Sylvester Glacier. An easy 7,200' col linked us to the Powell Glacier and high glacial benches for 15 miles to the west branch of the Matanuska Glacier and out to the Glenn Highway. Our route gained about 19,000' over 98 miles. We talked with every Chugach climber and tourer we could, and they were all certain that our traverse had not been done before. But it’s Alaska, and many trips don’t get reported.

Joe Stock and Dylan Taylor, AAC