Last week Alyeska Resort and the town of Girdwood were dumped on by an early season storm leaving upwards of a foot of fresh snow on the mountain and eight inches in most of Girdwood. As you can imagine the energy levels rose with the fresh snow leaving many locals thrilled with the anticipation on the upcoming season. The local dog population also seemed to be ecstatic with many dogs running and playing all over town. The snow comes at a perfect time, every leaf had fallen off of every tree on the mountain and in town leaving the scenery brown, drab and dead which can be, to some, depressing. But not a second after the last leaf landed on the ground the wind picked up, the skies turned gray and mother nature unleashed an early fall storm which seemed to be solely in the Glacier Valley. Once people were out on the highway driving towards the direction of Anchorage the snow would subside around Bird Point leaving dry roads and semi-clear skies.
Back to skiing and riding. The first snow of the season means many things to different people. Some people cry and complain that summer was short and they’re not ready for it to be over, some except the changing of seasons and are impartial, while still some, the crazies, the local skiers and the die-hards, welcome winter with open arms and excitement. These are the people who have been patiently waiting since last May, hiking every day in the summer months keeping their legs strong so they can ski hard in the winter. At the first sign of snow they hike for a few hours up to the surrounding glaciers for just a few turns followed by a long walk back to the parking areas. It’s these people who are the heart of skiing and snowboarding. Like a kid waiting for Christmas however, the next few weeks will be painfully long filled with waiting and anticipation.
November 21 marks the first day of skiing and riding at Alyeska Resort for the 2012/13 season. Season pass holders are allowed to ski one day early on November 20 as part of season pass holder appreciation day. Alyeska will also have its new chair lift, named Ted’s Express, ready for opening day. The new chair replaces the old Chair 4 on the Daylodge side of the mountain. Following the same footprint as Chair 4, Ted’s Express will transport skiers and riders to mid-mountain in less than half the time, roughly 5 minutes. If you don’t have your season pass by now there is still a few days to spare to receive the discounted pre-season sale price. This sale ends on October 31! Call the ticket office at 907.754.2275.
Enjoy the winter ski season!!