Eric Opland Obituary

Eric Neil
Eric Neil "Viking" Opland

November 17, 1958 - September 13, 2020
Born in Anchorage, Alaska
Resided in Anchorage, Alaska


Alaska backcountry skiing legend Eric "Viking" Opland has gone to ski the powder fields of Valhalla.

Eric was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and graduated from Service High School. Though he dabbled in many outdoor pursuits, skiing was at the core of who Eric was. He embraced life in a bear hug that would squeeze every possible ounce of joy from every moment he lived, and he shared that joy with everyone around him.

He leaves his "beautiful sweetheart," Kathy Still; their son, Azri-el Sellers, and granddaughter, Calista; his mother, Mildred of Anchorage; siblings, Lars (and Angelika) of Wasilla, Alaska, Christine of Anchorage and Tania (and Mike Freeman) of Suquamish, Wash.; nephews, Colin Opland of Anchorage and Isaiah Chevalier (and Elaina Haupt) of Anchorage; great-nephews, Christopher and Henry; his Anchorage cousins, lifelong friends and ski buddies, the Brudie family.

There will be no memorial gatherings until they can be held without endangering each other's health. For now, please share memories and photos on Eric's memorial web page at, and all are welcome to read the Lore that has been shared about this giant of the slopes on the "Alaska Backcountry Ski Addiction" Facebook page. Let the legend spread far and wide with tales of daring feats, and of the epic tracks the Viking has left in so many hearts.

Eric would request any memorial donations be made to the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center or the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center.

Photo by Paul Lindemuth.

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