Thompson Pass, Alaska | The Greatest Place in the World to go Skiing.

Thompson Pass, Alaska | The Greatest Place in the World to go Skiing.

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Thompson Pass, Alaska | The Greatest Place in the World to go Skiing.

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In the heart of the Chugach Mountain Range, northeast of the town of Valdez, is a gap in the mountains known as Thompson Pass. T-Pass is widely regarded as one of the greatest places in the world to go skiing. The 2,805′ mountain pass records an average snowfall of  552″ per year making it the snowiest place in Alaska. But what really makes this place such an amazing ski destination is the  warm, moist winter air coming off the Gulf of Alaska that abruptly smashes into the steep mountain faces of the Chugach. The effect allows snow to stick to steeper faces then anywhere else in the world.

The Books – Valdez, AK

Thompson Pass Facts

  • The name “Chugach” is from the Eskimo tribal name Chugachmiut. 
  • More snow falls on the Chugach than anywhere else in the world.
  • The Chugach Mountains contain the greatest concentration of glacial ice in Alaska.
  • The highest point in the Chugach is Mount Marcus Baker, at 13,176 feet.
  • The winter of 1952–1953 saw 974.5″ of snow fall on Thompson Pass—the most ever recorded in one season at one location in Alaska.
  • The pass also holds the Alaskan record for the most snow in a single day: 62 inches fell on December 29, 1955.
  • March 27, 1964 – the largest earthquake ever to hit North America struck 45 miles west of Valdez. Initial shocks lasted over five minutes.

A = Thomson Pass, Alaska.

A = Thomson Pass, Alaska.

Although Valdez is known as “the snowiest place in North America”, the weather patterns twenty miles inland atop Thompson Pass avoid the marine effect and associated cloud cover that typically shut down other Alaskan heli-ski operations.

 

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