This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Kings and Corn is a spectacular adventure: an intense tag team of back-and-forth heli-skiing and King Salmon fishing stints during the nearly 24 hours of sunlight during Alaska’s glorious summer solstice.
Alaska whilst still being a wilderness frontier is reasonably straightforward to access from NZ with a flight into LA or San Francisco then connecting flight straight into Anchorage Alaska.
Typically, we recommend a minimum 5-day stay to maximise the opportunities and to allow for any weather delays. Kings & Corn is a late season activity so the weather tends to be more settled compared to the peak heli-skiing season.
You will wake up at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge a remote, multi-sport luxurious lodge in the heart of the Tordrillo Range. Located on the banks of the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake, it is within eye shot of two 11,000-foot volcanoes and Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest peak at 20,320 feet. Find a quiet corner on the deck and take it all in, cast a line from the lawn and enjoy the lodges and amenities.
Before long, you’re enjoying spectacular 3,000-vertical-foot runs of perfect corn snow in Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountains – while wearing a T-shirt in the middle of June. It is awesome, and it’s only the first part of the adventure.
After slaying turns in the buttery smooth snow all morning (and thanks to the freeze-thaw cycle of early summer in Alaska, you don’t have to worry about avalanches), you get to take a little break and enjoy a seasonal lunch of fresh trout and summer salad at the lodge.
After a quick change from ski boots to waders, you are back out and at it again. Thanks to the help of some of the best fishing guides, you would have hooked your first King Salmon just minutes later. dragging in burly, feisty 35 – 50 pound King Salmon. Big, aggressive, and easily annoyed, the Kings bite often and fight hard.
The real kicker with this tour is that after ultra long days, the action doesn’t stop at the end of the day. Often after dinner some nights, when the conditions are just right, the team fire up the helicopter and off you go heli-skiing under the midnight sun. It’s the type of experience that sounds so otherworldly and odd as to be fake. That is until you’re standing on top of a mountain and the snow turns pink below you, with an alpenglow that lasts for hours, and you check your watch and see that it’s 10pm. Suddenly, you realize that you’ve already skied 30,000 vertical feet and caught a half-dozen 40-pound monster King Salmon today.
By the end of your five-day trip, it truly feels as though you’ve been there for 10 days and there was still a boatload of activities available that you never even got around to doing, including wakeboarding on the lake or a heli-accessed white water raft trip. Simply put, Kings & Corn is a trip unlike any other we’ve been on. It’s like combining the best fishing outing you’ve ever imagined with the most insane ski trip you only ever dream of, then adding 24 hours of sunshine to make sure that you get to do as much of both as humanly possible.