Good Timing To Start Skiing Inbounds

Earlier this season I approached Alyeska Resort about teaming up with my web site,, for some photoshoots and gear testing gigs. Sandy, the Resort’s Public Relations director, suggested that I do some blogging for Alyeska instead, and dangled a shiny season pass in front of me to help my decision along.  I had been thinking of doing more resort skiing this year (I’ve been strictly backcountry for about six years now) and you know what they say in The Secret, “that which you think becomes reality” (right? I didn’t actually read that book). So here I am, proud owner of the first season pass I’ve ever had in my life and contributing writer here on the Alyeska Resort blog.

And what a great decision it was! I started the resort season on Christmas Day, with 8” of powder on the mountain top to bottom, and a really light and mellow crowd out for a great day of skiing.  My friend Cody and I spent the day sampling all the mountain had to offer, from the powdery Christmas Chute to the powdery High T to the powdery Northwest Passage…well pretty much everything was powdery. Conditions were fantastic. I came back the next day, and the next, and the next, and suddenly I was wearing five-day-old base layers and consciously deciding not to shower because, after all, I’d just be back skiing the next day so what did it matter?  Conditions have stayed spectacular so I’ve been skiing at least four days a week since, only slowing down this week because of the highway closure yesterday which, though a bummer, gave me time to catch up on my promised blog post.

I get it now. I get how you end up with your gear strewn everywhere, no time for work or socializing, and no clean socks not even halfway through the season. I understand why people are obsessively checking snow reports and weather and why they keep bugging Patrol about when New Year’s Chute is going to open (seriously, when? Just kidding…), I don’t even bat an eye when someone with base layers so dirty they’re practically crunchy gets on the chair next to me (those are my people now), and I’m more likely just to duct tape something than take the time to take it to the shop for fixing. It’s a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning when I know my morning will be filled with skiing rather than answering email inquiries.

Before this season, I haven’t skied much at Alyeska in years (er… close to twenty years… shameful), having turned my attentions to the backcountry. I certainly did pick a good year to come back to the resort—it’s been great to ski nice powder all day without constantly checking snow conditions and being worried about whether my partner is paying attention and whether we’ve chosen the right aspect and all that. I can solo ski at the resort without too much worry (Snow Safety does a great job, but I still wear my transceiver every day; why not?) and getting in a dozen or more runs instead of just two or three is pretty nice I must say. To most people, this is obvious, but to me it’s a novelty. Skiing across the High Traverse and thinking about how I would never get to do something like that in the backcountry has yet to get old for me.

So I’m very happy to be back at the Resort where I spent so many of my formative years. It’s changed a lot, but all for the better, if you ask me, and I think it’ll be a great season. I’m excited to share it with you here on the Alyeska Resort blog.

Gear Gal Jill MissalJill Missal is the founder, editor, and all around Head Geargal at, a web site for the female outdoor enthusiast who wants to get the most out of her gear, and for the beginner who needs some help knowing where to start. Jill was raised in Alaska and has spent most of her life in the backcountry skiing, climbing, and trekking. When not testing gear for Geargals, Jill works as a consultant in the disaster planning and emergency management field, which takes her to amazing places in the world to do exciting projects. It might be hard to get her back in the office now that she’s got her season pass in hand during one of Southcentral Alaska’s snowiest winters in recent memory.


  1. snow accommodation says:

    Great Article. I can’t wait to go out and ski passionately. Thanks for sharing it with us here on the Alyeska Resort blog. I have bookmarked this entry and will be sharing it with my friends.

  2. Jaded Local says:

    Great positive comments from folks who have no idea who this woman is. For someone who has blatantly slammed the resort in the past to get a free season pass for a self promotional blog shows the true level this place has come to. I say lets have a do over and give a free pass to someone who really supports the resort and actually skis here.

    • Alyeska Resort says:

      Hi, I wanted to reach out – thanks for taking the time to post a comment and for spending time on Aly’s various sites. I made a note of your feedback and will actually follow-up with Jill directly. I’m somewhat newer up here (3 years) and although I pre-qualify all of the individuals who I worked with to help support the very small marketing team’s efforts (there are two of us), sometimes the due diligence isn’t a 100%. Having said that, the individuals that we work with to help promote the resort tend to bring a set of skills that are typically mutually beneficial, and I’d like to believe in this particular case, Jill falls into that category.

      Thanks again for your time, I appreciate it greatly. Hopefully this will one of those times when a fresh start has some meaning.


      Sandy Chio

      Director of Marketing

      907-754-2215 t | 907-754-2537 f

    • Jill says:

      Er, okay….

  3. Lisa says:

    I loved this article Jill. I’m an enthusiast of snow and outdoors like you. I can’t wait to read more. On a side note how did you get into your position with gear girls?

  4. mjb fresh says:

    yeah yeah yeah…I was lucky enough to get 3 great days as well, where it snowed 6 inches twice….and the farther I traversed, the fresher the snow…and northwest passage was so empty, it felt like fresh tracks the entire day! A treat for this New Yorker…keep us all posted on Alaska’s secret,
    Al(YES)ka! mj

  5. Ron Read says:

    This sounds fantastic. And I understand that it’s been puking snow out your way for the past week or so. Might be worth considering a winter vacation in the future.

  6. CatK says:

    Awesome article! Looking forward to hearing and seeing more about your adventures and the resort. And if you discover a trick for washing those socks and base layers faster, let us know! :)

  7. Jen says:

    Could you send some of that snow down to Colorado? I’m also doing a lot more resort skiing (because I’m told taking a 6 yr old backcountry skiing isn’t a great idea);)

Leave a Reply