Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Thompson Pass - Destination for Generations of Sports Enthusiasts
Since their purchase in 2011, Jeffery S. Fraser and his wife have enjoyed rebuilding a luxury winter sports lodge in the spirit of the historic Tsaina Lodge near Valdez, Alaska. The old Tsaina Lodge had served as a popular low-key roadhouse for generations of sportsmen. Jeffery Fraser and his wife preserved as many components of the historic structure as possible, incorporating them into an upscale, contemporary Tsaina Lodge designed to welcome today’s adventure travelers.
The lodge is situated in an avalanche-safe area in the north shadow of Thompson Pass, the snowiest location in the state. On average, more than 550 feet of snow falls in the pass annually.
Thompson Pass is also the gathering point each spring for many of the world’s most accomplished and daring helicopter pilots, skiers, snowboarders, and other lovers of extreme winter sports. The 2,800-foot-high pass serves as their only land entree to the rugged glories of the Chugach Mountains beyond.
For generations, Thompson Pass has drawn legions of anglers to the lakes, rivers, and streams that crisscross the lands around it. The Tsaina River is particularly known for its wild rapids.
In 1899, Army Captain William Abercrombie named the area in honor of Frank Thomson, a native of Pennsylvania. While Thomson spelled his name without a “p,” Abercrombie’s map gave it the added letter, and this is the spelling currently in use by the United States Geological Survey. The pass had already been long known to the native Ahtna people.