Skiing in June isn’t what you would expect for a dream trip to Alaska. But the Tordrillo Mountains are full of unexpected experiences. While skiing was our priority, little did we know that we would remember all the other experiences just as much — SUPing under the midnight sun, casting for rainbow trout, wake-surfing on Judd lake, and just being out in the wild Alaska wilderness. It all combined into an experience like none other.


Our goal was to ski perfect summer “corn” snow with the backdrop of the immense Alaska wilderness. We took helicopters to reach the peaks of the stunning range that formed the backdrop to the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. Amie Engerbretson, a professional skier who has traveled the world skiing, said these mountains are some of the best she has ever skied in.


Corn skiing or snowboarding is a magical experience. At night the snow freezes. By day, as it slowly melts, the top layer becomes the ideal consistency for skiing. There’s a perfect few-hour window where that top layer makes skiing a joy to slide on. Before that window it’s too firm, and afterwards it becomes sticky and sloppy. You can chase that prime time with the angle of the mountains, since the sun is what mostly affects the snow.


The backdrop of endless mountains was unreal. There’s plenty of terrain for any type of skier. Of course Amie sniffed out some steep skiing. One of the nice parts of skiing in June is that avalanche danger is incredibly low also. Also nice is that with such warm temperatures, you don’t really need normal outerwear. You could ski in a t-shirt some days.


The Tordrillo Mountain Lodge lies on a peninsula in Judd Lake. Even if it's too cloudy to helicopter into the mountains and ski, there is more than enough to keep you occupied. Here Amie is wake-surfing in a dry suit - and smiling.


We walked on the bottom of a lake that sits between two glaciers. The bottom glacier freezes and plugs up the water to form the lake. The upper glacier sheds its massive ice blocks, which float in the lake. At some point in the summer, the bottom glacier melts out enough for the lake to drain -- leaving the massive ice blocks at the bottom of the dry lake. We flew the helicopter to this spot and wandered around gawking at all the beautiful ice formations.


There are plenty of waterways in the Tordrillo Mountains. King salmon fishing is the prize, but this year king salmon fishing was closed. But there were plenty of rainbow’s, graylings, and other salmon to chase.


It helps when you have a helicopter to bring you to the perfect fishing holes. We were able to choose from rivers and streams that had plenty of fish but no other anglers. There were endless amounts of waters to fish.


With light that lasted 24 hours, we were able to pack a lot into a few days. Amie and our guide Steve Hall show off a beautiful rainbow trout they caught at midnight.


The Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is a 45-minute beaver plane flight from Anchorage. The only way in is by a plane that can land and take off on water. The lodge, lake, rivers, and mountains had all the ingredients for an amazing Alaska adventure.


We enjoyed five-star dining at the lodge - with ultra-fresh Alaskan seafood, seasonal game, and local produce and herbs from the lodge’s own garden. Even with all the activities, we came home a few pounds heavier.


After dinner was also a great time to just soak up the final hours of sunshine and enjoy the natural beauty. Here Amie is enjoying the calm water on a stand-up paddleboard just out front of the lodge. The hardest part of the whole trip was stopping. With the best sunsets around 1:00 AM and 24-hour light, sleeping was the last thing on a long list of fun.


The Tordrillo Lodge had a hot tub and a hot sauna, which you could follow with a cold jump in the lake. This is the perfect way to fix some sore legs after a day of skiing. Does it get any better than this?