Then it’s off to sample some spring snow. If you are unfamiliar with corn snow, it is a varietal not to miss — surrender to the call of the corn. Baked in the sun and refrozen multiple times, corn snow, when ripe and ready to ski, allows you to carve perfect “S” turns on its blank canvas. Your superhero powers take over and you execute one beautiful turn after another.
Landing your first king salmon is a life-changing experience. Tordrillo Mountain Lodge supplies high-tech waders and fishing gear, then it’s time to hook up. All five species of Pacific Salmon, rainbow trout, Arctic char, and more fill the remote streams and rivers accessed via helicopter. Next, try heli-hiking, exploring some of the biggest glaciers in Alaska, and discovering ice caves and crevasses with crampons and ropes. Water sports are also available: On Judd Lake you can waterski and SUP, or paddle through some challenging whitewater to keep you on your game.
In the evenings: more heli-skiing. It’s crazy that at Tordrillo at this time of year, it is light at 10:00 p.m. The magic hour starts close to midnight, as the light softens and a surreal glow bathes the Alaskan peaks. Your connection to nature is intensified as you share ski turns, laughter and maybe even a glass of Dom Perignon or a Macallan 30-year-old whisky while seated on a mountain peak with friends.
All this comes with fine dining. Tordrillo’s chefs specialize in local cuisine, from Alaskan king crab and salmon, to locally sourced wild game. Open one of the excellent vintages from Tordrillo’s wine list, or ask the bartender to mix you a martini with glacial ice gathered daily nearby. Many a day finishes with live music performed by the staff; guests are always welcome to get into the act.
The experience takes one right back to sitting around the glow of a campfire. So glad we’re never too old for Camp Kings & Corn.