Alyeska Ski Resort
When skiers and snowboarders think of skiing in Alaska
they conjure up thoughts of steep and deep. Sure they’ve probably been watching a Warren Miller movie and are thinking of Alaska heli skiing
, but Alyeska Ski Resort near Anchorage also fits into the steep and deep category. Alyeska receives a whopping 650 inches (16.5 metres) of snowfall per season on average, and much of the terrain at Alyeska is challenging, particularly relative to many of the lower 48 ski resorts.
Alaska is also renowned for the amazing views and Alyeska is no exception with an incredibly picturesque setting.
Alyeska Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The Alyeska ski resort has 567 hectares (1,400 acres) of skiable terrain. This is below average for a USA ski resort, and when you compare Alyeska Resort to the massive Chugach Mountains, it’s completely dwarfed. Subsequently Alyeska doesn’t provide huge variety and you’ll end up lapping many of the same runs.
The Alyeska terrain includes alpine bowls, some tree skiing, and tree-lined runs. Freestylers can also play in the terrain park and superpipe.
Whilst 11% of the terrain is rated for beginners, the gradient of Alyeska doesn’t really cater particularly well to novices. Intermediates will be kept happy with an allocation of 52% of the trails and runs that extend the full 2,500 vertical feet of the lift accessed terrain.
Advanced and expert riders rave about the steep trails like the North Face and the newly gladed terrain in the middle of the resort. Alyeska also has lots of hike-to-terrain above the lifts including chutes and gnarly bowls, although these zones are commonly closed due to excessive snow and avalanche risk.
The lift infrastructure consists of 9 lifts; an aerial tram, one high speed quad chair, a few fixed grip quads, 2 doubles, and a couple of magic carpets. The lifts are open late Thursday to Saturdays for night skiing, although during the height of winter there are other parts of the day that also feel like night skiing!
Alyeska Snow and Weather
Alyeska gets tons of snow, and as to be expected considering the maritime climate, the powder has a tendency towards being heavy, but nothing that a pair of fat skis or a powder board won’t fix! Alyeska is susceptible to all types of weather which may include extreme wind and rain at the base area. The resort gets socked in at times and during winter the low angle of the sun can contribute to flat light, so pack a pair of low light goggles! Or visit during March when bluebird days are more common.
One of the fantastic things about the fickle Alaskan weather is that it helps to keep the hordes away. There’s a distinct lack of lift lines and powderhounds will be rewarded with lots of freshies. This is the Last Frontier after all!
Where is Alyeska Alaska?
Mt Alyeska is part of the famous Chugach Mountain Range. Alyeska Resort is located in Girdwood, a small town with a population of approximately 2,000 friendly folks! Alyeska is just 40 miles south of Anchorage on Alaska’s South Central coast. The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the main gateway to Alyeska.
Alyeska Hotel and Accommodations
The main lodging at Alyeska Resort is the Hotel Alyeska
, a ski-in ski-out 304 room hotel at the base of the tram. The hotel has extensive facilities including a variety of restaurants, shops, a day spa, pool, and fitness center.
Other Alyeska accommodations include Girdwood vacation rentals, condos and a few bed and breakfasts.
|4-star ski-in/out hotel offering deluxe twin and king rooms with flat screen TV/Satellite & pay channels. Restaurants, bar, day spa, indoor pool and whirlpool, sauna, fitness center & more...
Alyeska is reasonably low key and no frills relative to the high profile Colorado ski resorts
. Nevertheless the Alyeska ski resort amenities are reasonable well developed and it’s a good family resort. There are various off-slope activities including scenic flights, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, tubing, boat cruises out of Anchorage, or there’s the day spa for complete R&R.
More Reasons to Ski or Snowboard at Alyeska
Skiing or snowboarding at Alyeska can provide a pleasant alternative to the lower 48s, and comparatively lift tickets, food and ski rentals are reasonably priced.
A huge pro for Alyeska is the nearby heli skiing
and snowcat skiing
; the ultimate experience for powder hounds! You can combine resort skiing at Alyeska with cat skiing and heli skiing because nearby Chugach Powder Guides offer multi-day or single day packages. The cat skiing is reasonably inexpensive, but if you go on standby the cat skiing is discounted. Sounds purrrrfect!