Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic

The Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic (AMWSC) is one of Alaska's unique, breathtaking and most challenging backcountry treks offered for cross country ski enthusiasts. The annual traverse through one of Alaska's major mountain ranges has endured for over 20 years, and the varying courses have been staged in the Wrangell-St. Elias, Chugach, Brooks and Alaska mountain ranges. Participants are fully self sufficient as they ski through the backcountry - there are no food drops, rest stations, or marked routes. Each route has a set start point, and when the gun goes off, skiers are free to pick the best route through the country. The route is typically between 100 and 150 miles long and most people complete the event in 5-8 days. Teams, rather than individuals, are encouraged, but groups of skiers who travel at the same pace typically stay together.

The location changes every three years, giving participants the opportunity to try new routes with unique challenges. Each location is chosen to give skiers both non-technical and mountaineering route options.

The 2017 AMWSC will be held in the Brooks Range and will include two route options. The Gates Route and the ANWR Route beginning on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Each route has been permitted for up to 25 skiers, but the combined overall total for the two routes will be capped at 40.

All applications must be approved by the event director (Dave Cramer), prior to being accepted.

Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis and once the slots are full, three additional standby registrations will be accepted for each route.

Only AMWSC veteran and highly qualified rookie applications will be accepted for the ANWR Route The *ANWR Route will start at Atigun River Gorge near Mile 275 on the Dalton Highway.

All qualified applications will be accepted for the Gates Route.The Gates Route will start at Mile 278 near Galbraith Lake on the Dalton Highway.

The finish deadline for both routes is at is midnight on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at the Alaska’s Arctic Getaway Bed & Breakfast, Wiseman, Alaska. Multiple route options have been given and are described in full detail in the AMWSC Event Information links below.

Click on the links below for more information about the history of the AMWSC and this year's event route and application materials:

2017 Route Maps

ANWR RouteGates Route
Event Information

Registration Form


General Map (5.9 M)

Map A (9.1 M)

Map B (4.5 M)

Map C (3.2 M)

Bailout Routes (8.9 M)

Refuge Permit (6.7 M)

Event Information

Registration Form


Stage 1 Map (2.7 M)

Stage 2A Map (2.7 M)

Stage 2B Map (2.5 M)

History of the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic

Photo Gallery

AMWSC History & Top Finishers

Alaska Magazine Articles
By Ned Rozell

Alaska Magazine 3-2000
Alaska Magazine 8-2002

Anchorage Daily News Articles
By Beth Bragg

ADN 5-2-91

Fairbanks Daily News Miner Articles - Adobe PDF Files
By Tim Mowrey

News Miner 4-5-96 (1 MB)
News Miner 3-27-98 (630 KB)
News Miner 4-7-00 (1 MB)
News Miner 4-13-01 (525 KB)
News Miner 3-29-02 (33 KB)
News Miner 4-12-02 (35 KB)
News Miner 4-9-04 (490 KB)
News Miner 4-15-05 (990 KB)
News Miner 4-3-08 (48 KB)