Kick Step Mountain sits in the Chugach Range on the Kenai Peninsula in AK. Around 50 miles from Anchorage it’s a well know and much respected peak among mountaineers, ski tourers and splitboarders. Last week Ben Reynolds, Amplid’s man in AK, took the opportunity to hike and ride the peak early season with his Milligram and emailed us this trip report and images.
All photos appear courtesy of Ben Reynolds.
“Uriah Rolando, his little brother Orin and I climbed and rode Kick Step Mountain on Wednesday.
This is the biggest line in the Turnagain Pass area. It involves skinning 11 miles round trip and climbing 4000 vertical feet."
"In the past, it has been more of a mountaineering climb rather than a ski or snowboard descent. Crampons and axes are needed to pass several crux areas with mixed ice, snow and rock.
The descent was via the South West face, a line that involves riding over several thousand feet of exposure. The snowpack is still fairly thin at the moment, so there is literally only one exit that goes out the bottom."
As I have ridden this line several times, I guided the guys down safely, riding to several safe points and regrouping before committing to the next section. A recent wind had scoured the face. However, we were happy to find that the snow was mostly wind scoured powder and rode great.
"Over the past few years I have acted as a mentor to Orin, helping him to get to grips with climbing and riding big lines in Valdez, and using snowmobile access and verts to climb. However, this is his first year on a splitboard, the Amplid Morning Glory, having never toured before! On his first outing, we toured 8 miles and climbed 4000 vert. This trip to Kick Step was literally only his second time EVER on a split or using crampons! Uriah rode his Morning Glory split too."
"I of course was on my Milligram 158, which gave me huge amounts of confidence on such a big and technical line.
Kick Step was well worth the effort!”