Besides heli-skiing.

At the lodge, in town, or deep in the wild, there’s always something exciting to do. Discover the many activities available during your stay in Valdez, Alaska.


Besides heli-skiing.

At the lodge, in town, or deep in the wild, there’s always something exciting to do. Discover the many activities available during your stay in Valdez, Alaska.


Tim Stephens has climbed all over the world and has an addiction to ice climbing. He has climbed all the Valdez classics as well as big ice lines in the Alaska Range such as the Phantom Wall on Mt. Huntington. Tim is married to VHSG Guide, Kirsten Kremer. They spend many days in February climbing in Keystone Canyon, Valdez. The roadside ice is easy to access and endless adventures on ice can be found in the side canyons. These avid climbers can take beginners or advanced climbers on a journey up frozen waterfalls.

Beginner Program

The beginner program will teach you the basics of ice climbing. You can climb in your ski or snowboard boots with crampons we supply for you. All participants wear helmets at the base and on the climb because it is normal for ice chunks to fall when people are bashing the ice with their ice picks. We will set up a top rope on a frozen waterfall and belay you from the base of the ice flow. We guide with a maximum ratio of 3 guests to 1 guide to insure the best instruction and safest experience possible.

Advanced Program

Keystone Canyon is the perfect place to do a multi-pitch ice climb. After taking the beginner course, Tim Stephens can guide you up one of the classics. Ice climbing boots are recommended for this activity. For guided multi-pitch climbs the maximum is 2 guests to 1 guide.

General Info for Ice Climbing in Valdez

Valdez is a hidden gem for ice-climbing. Although we are famous for our skiing, Valdez remains one of the best kept ice climbing secrets. If you can’t go skiing, you can go ice climbing. It is the perfect mixture of sports. While you rest your ski legs, you get an incredible arm workout. The ice usually lasts until April 10th for the big classics. Every season is different and we can see ice last until May. Mixed climbing (climbing on rocks with your ice tools) lasts all season. Typically, you get very hot while you are climbing and very cold when you are not. Dressing in layers with a change of light and thick gloves allows you to adjust to the temperature swings.


These bikes are made for snow riding with fat studded tires and an electric battery to help assist your pedaling. Enjoy our trails in the backyard that lead to the famous buried pipeline road. Keep your legs strong and fit while enjoying the fresh Alaska air and scenery.

Guided biking

Enjoy the company of an experienced rider that can give you pro-tips and help you navigate the trails.

Self guided

Experienced riders can enjoy discovering the backyard trails on their own. We can equip you with a radio to call us if you need any assistance.


Jennie Milton has been kiting on Thompson Pass longer than anyone and her passion spreads like wildfire. She is an amazing instructor as well as a top competitor in kiting on snow and water. She is also a certified drone pilot. Check her out on Instagram @Adrenajen.

Beginner Course

Beginner kiters. Learn about mountain winds and forecasting. How to set up a kite including all the safety features. Basic kite flying and the techniques to get towed. The goal is everyone snow kiting, getting first rides with their choice of skis or board. Lessons go for 4 hours.

Experienced Riders

Experienced kiters. Bring your own gear or use our selection of kites. Let us teach you all our pro tips and guide you around to the best locations and features to play, plus different routes to go up the mountains that we’ve figured out over the years.


The Tsaina backyard is home to world class ski touring. This photo is from some of our more adventurous guests who just kept hiking up in the storm with their guide. Stairway and The Promise Land are a couple of the popular ski touring destinations just behind the lodge. Most guests are happy with a smaller hike, but it is possible to climb to the top. We have several pairs of ski touring set ups with climbing skins that can adjust to your boots. We also have snowshoes for boarders. If you want to get some exercise outside of The Tsaina Lodge gym and make some turns, join us for a tour in the backyard.


Storm days are perfect for a tour in the backyard. The first bench is a quick hit and provides good turns in a sheltered area with reasonable visibility in the trees and alders. This takes about 20-30 minutes and many guests prefer to ski multiple laps here because the visibility is the best and often the snow quality, too.


If you already have touring equipment, bring it. We have touring set ups that will adjust to normal downhill ski boots as well as snow shoes for boarders that are sufficient to get out and enjoy the terrain. Wear layers. Hot going up, cold going down.


Your Guide will help you adjust your skis and put the skins on and teach you touring techniques. The guides will take you on a tour that fits your ability. Backcountry skiing is getting more popular every year and this could be a great opportunity to learn some new skills.


Snow machines

In Alaska, everyone calls snowmobiles – sleds or snow machines. They are truly machines as you see them climb straight up steep slopes and rip through deep powder. Imagine 800 horses pulling you through the snow! Riders come to compete in the annual Hill Climb event in April and many backcountry users ride sleds to access the incredible skiing. These machines are dangerous and riders wait for good visibility to charge the slopes.


In inclement weather, we can take the snow machines for a tour along the Pipeline Road and in areas with some shrubs for visibility. The weather always dictates where we can ride.

The tour

We have sleds available for guests at the lodge. An experienced rider will accompany you and get you dialed out with the basics. It is easy to access the Pipeline road from The Tsaina Lodge which is actually the Oil Pipeline buried underground through this section of the Chugach. It is perfect for a beginner sled rider with steep hills and long straight aways to feel the power and speed of all those Horses! It’s easy to cover a lot of ground quickly until you get stuck. As with all winter activities, layering your clothes is key. You can be freezing when you are traveling 50MPH and sweating when you are digging out your sled. We offer half day tours which last a few hours. You can customize the tour with your guide based on the weather and your experience.



If the weather is not appropriate for flying helicopters, we can use the snowcat to access skiing in our backyard. Be prepared for flat light conditions as our skiing takes place above tree line.


The snowcat generally leaves from the lodge at 1640ft and climbs up to the Dimond moraine at 3600ft. The runs are on slopes ranging up to 35 degrees with lots of contours and drop offs to negotiate. Small shrubs and a few pine trees help with definition in the flat light, The drop off points are below one of the most famous mountains in the Chugach, The Dimond. When you’ve had enough cat skiing, we can ski directly back to the lodge.


The Piston Bully Snowcat is a top of the line mountain climbing machine that can hold 12 guests. The ride is comfortable in the cabin with stereo and hot drinks. The ride is about 20 minutes and goes by quickly while socializing with other guests, hydrating and eating delicious food from the Tsaina Lodge.


We operate with two guides in the group of snowcat riders. One guide rides in the front with the driver and the second guide is with the guests in the cabin. When skiing, we use the buddy system as well as a front and tail guide. The guides will give you all the info you need for this adventure. Snowcat riding is a great way to stretch the legs, get some fresh air and have a ton of laughs with the crew.


Sightseeing and BBQ

Valdez has a beautiful small harbor with access to The Prince William Sound. We can access the shore and small beaches with a boat designed to load and unload from the bow in this crafty vessel pictured above. Our Captain is a Valdez local and knows all the sweet spots to visit on the water.


Starting in April, you can fish for halibut and rockfish. The Captain Will can guide you through the steps to fish for these deep water lurkers. Check out his website for more info Valdez Salt Water Adventures. This is generally a full day to get you out to the best spots, but half day options are available.

Walking the docks

Getting on boats isn’t for everyone, but walking the docks on a snowy day in the small boat harbor is truly beautiful. It is common to see sea otters floating on their backs and eagles looking for snacks. When the mountains appear out of the clouds around the Valdez Harbor, you’ll be impressed with the sheer beauty of this place.


Alaska is home to big mountains, big game and guns. The weather is always great for shooting.


Semi-automatic, rifles, pistols and shotguns.


The goal is to teach you safe gun handling, have a good time, and possibly hit a target. We have skeet for the shotgun and Tannerite to blow up with the semi-automatic rifle. We take a maximum of 4 guests at a time to insure safe training.


Now you can shoot your friends in a safe and accurate way. The Battle Company technology is state of the art with long distance and high accuracy. We do have real guns for target practice, but the BRX gun is clearly marked with an orange tip to identify it as a toy. These are adult toys with advanced technology lasers and programming. There are numerous games to play. We have 10 guns. Typically the game would be two teams of 5, but hostages can be incorporated. Capture the flag, or Move the President are some of the favorites. Laser tag can be played indoor or outdoors.

When to play

This is the perfect game to play around the lodge when we are waiting for weather to improve for heli-skiing. The time passes quickly when you are engaged in a battle. The adrenaline starts flowing as you duck from imaginary bullets and aim for the kill.

A question? Let's chat!
Scan the code