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Thread: Flattop in winter?

  1. #1
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Eagle River

    Question Flattop in winter?

    Hey guys,

    Haven't been up Flattop in awhile, and was wondering how feasible it is now that the snow has fallen? Is there enough foot traffic in the winter to do it without snowshoes/special avalanche worries?


    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    there is a boot pack going up... you just need some warm boots...

    i dont think avalanche's are going to be a concern. although anything is possible x.x

  3. #3
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Eagle River (Home!)


    A couple of years back wasn't there some older gentlemen who climbed it 500times in a year. Which equates to about 2 times a day for 1/3 of a year and every day for the rest of the year. Maybe I have the data wrong but I was in total disbelief when I first read it.

  4. #4


    There is probably something like 100+ people per day year round going up there. The numbers back off in the winter, but there are still a lot heading up there in everything but the worst of weather. As someone who used to run it all the time for mountain running training, it was easier for me in the winter because you could shortcut a number of places and footholds were easier to find (just kick in the snow). Going down was a lot more fun as well.

  5. #5

    Exclamation Flattop can be dangerous in winter!

    Quote Originally Posted by akhunter3 View Post
    Hey guys,

    ....Is there enough foot traffic in the winter to do it without snowshoes/special avalanche worries?
    As we get more snow there can be serious avalanche hazard on Flattop. Folks have died up there. The total snowfall doesn't even need to be that high if there has been a strong wind. A good wind can rearrange the snow to change it from OK to very dangerous, in just a few hours. It is very climbable in the winter, and lots of people do it. However, EVALUATE THE AVALANCHE POTENTIAL VERY CAREFULLY, at the time you do it.

    For info on the most recent death (there have been others) check out:
    Last edited by overthehill; 11-11-2009 at 12:50. Reason: add title

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I second the last post; Watch for windloading.

  7. #7

    Default Usually a bad idea

    You can hike or ski the power line pass trail more safely. Anyone who has lived in Anchorage for a while can tell you there have been many deaths up there in the winter from avalanches and falls.

    If you wait for spring, there are plenty of climbing/hiking opportunities up there that still offer snow. I used to glissade up there on a regular basis in the mid 80s.

  8. #8


    There are plenty of safe routes up flat top, peak 2, peak 3, flaketop in the winter. I have been up them several times this winter. Stay on the windblown ridges as much as you can. When skinning it up peak 3 on the skis thats kind of tough, but there is no reason not to get out and enjoy the mountains year round, just use good judgement based on the recent weather and snow conditions.

    Its worth it....... :-)

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    Great post, Davey. I've had a lot of good days on Peak 3, and as far as such things are considered, Peak 3 is relatively safe. Of course folks should be cautious and educated about avalanche danger, but they shouldn't be scared out of enjoying the mountains in winter. With the proper knowledge and equipment, enjoying Flattop, Peak 3, and just about any other mountain in Alaska is a great way to enjoy winter.


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