Alyeska Over The Holidays: A Land of Extremes

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The holidays took me home. A four hour plane ride from Seattle, WA and a quick 30 minute drive down one of the most impressive roads in America and I was skiing Alyeska, Alaska’s premier mountain resort. Tucked away in the infamous Chugach Mountains and sprawling into the Turnagain Arm Alyeska receives over 650” of snow annually. A year ago they were receiving record snow, topping 978” the most since 1998. But it had been rather dry in AK until Christmas break—then it snowed. I was fortunate enough to catch one of those powder days that Alyeska locals had been waiting for. The day’s excitement was at a high level, riders were flying over friends, powder slashes were plentiful, and grins were everywhere.

And just as the powder had started to ramp up, it ended. A Chinook wind hit central Alaska and the freezing levels rose. This did not stop the fun. High speed laps were plentiful down Alyeska’s 2,500 vertical feet of rolling groomers, and a surprise visit by some fellow Bellingham locals added to the hype. All while the Sitzmark, Alyeska’s classic après bar, delivered a convenient location and live music to round out the day.

Alyeska is an extreme place—30’’ of snow over night and 40 degree temperature changes can attest to that. Over the holidays it was -15 degrees one day and 30 the next at a ski resort starting at 200 feet above sea level yet still getting 978” snow years. The people here live here for this—four seasons of extremes—and Alyeska delivers during them all.

Thanks for the fun in all conditions over the years Alyeska, I’ll see you again soon.


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