Untracked celebrates the places you may, or may not, be aware of. The places where snow falls in abundance and crowds are rare. Want to ride pow? Here’s where to go.
Located in the small Alaskan town of Cordova, at the head of Orca Inlet in Prince William Sound, Points North Heli skiing represents what, for many skiers and snowboarders around the world, is the ultimate destination. The surrounding Chugach Mountains are famous for their combination of amazing snow and incredible terrain. Points North are one of several operations based in the Chugach Mountains who can promise clients the heli ski experience of their dreams. They are the only operation, however, who also have a ski touring program.
In 2011, Points North obtained a permit that enables them to fly their clients into a permanent winter camp high in the mountains, where they can spend a week ski touring or splitboarding. The peaks that surround camp are full of un-ridden lines and contain terrain ranging from mellow pow runs, to the kind of big faces and spines that Alaska is famous for. At the end of every day, a big meal is cooked in the group tent and the evening is spent around the wood fired stove. I imagine the vibes in camp after a big day riding the best snow of your life would be pretty special.
The combination of huge, empty mountains, a small crew and more snowfall than anywhere else on the planet, makes heli accessed touring in the Chugach perhaps the ultimate untracked destination. The Chugach Range receives prodigious amounts of snow. The Pacific Ocean provides a limitless supply of moisture, whilst the mountains themselves provide uplift that creates snowfall unlike anywhere else on Earth; we’re talking 20 – 30 metres annually (65+ feet). The relatively high moisture content of the snow enables it stick to steep faces and make classic AK lines possible. The high latitude and cold temperatures in turn create the kind of blower pow that dreams are made of.
Points North can accommodate guests upon return from the mountains in their 37 room Orca Lodge, situated on the shoreline of the ocean down in Cordova. It’s a full service facility, with a heli pad next door and looks to be the perfect place to wind down from a week in the mountains. Mt Eyak ski area is close by and there is the usual abundance of Alaskan scenery and wildlife to soak up too.
By utilizing their extensive local knowledge and understanding of the Alaskan mountains, Points North can give their guests the kind of big mountain wilderness adventure that very few people will ever experience. Points North Heli Accessed Touring brings the legendary terrain and snow of the Chugach Mountains within reach.
Images – Points North Heli