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Matanuska Peak

Matanuska Peak is a very prominent and accessible peak near the Butte. It overlooks the Valley from its perch between the Knik and Matanuska Rivers. With a trailhead and a well-maintained four mile long trail to the top, it is one of the easier 6,000 foot or higher peaks to hike in the Anchorage bowl. It is a less common, but very deserving ski destination. A 3,000 foot long chute descends from near the peak’s summit to the valley and summer trail below.

This chute is easy to see from Palmer. Like many slopes seen straight on, it appears to drop precipitously from the summit of the peak. Several cliff bands break up the chute near the top, but it is possible to weave through them. The very top of the line is quite steep, but it moderates somewhat through the cliff bands and then continues to mellow out as it approaches the valley floor.

Since the chute is generally west-facing, it is convenient for spring corn skiing. Personally, I wouldn’t drop into this line during midwinter conditio…

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