Skiing in Alaska – a Very Special Experience

Many people believe that Alaska has some of the best skiing anywhere in the world. The Alyeska Resort is located in Girdwood, Alaska, approximately 50 miles from the city of Anchorage. With a top elevation of 2751 feet and a vertical drop of 2501 feet, the ski area enjoys an average of 631 inches of snow every year.

Although Alaska boasts some of the best skiing in the world, you won’t find the slopes particularly crowded and there are no long lift lines. There are nine lifts, including six chair lifts and two surface lifts and one cable car line. There are 68 trails. Mount Alyeska is a fairly challenging mountain, and has a much higher percentage of advanced and expert runs, compared to most other mountain resorts in North America. It has a small section for the novice, but the rest of the mountain is almost entirely for the intermediate and the advanced skiers.

For international visitors, here are a few phrases that will help you. For line read queue, for surface lift think drag lift. Maybe you are used to skiing down a piste or a run but in Alaska you ski a trail! That wasn’t so hard, was it?

For a completely different experience, night time skiing is allowed, which makes your ski experience far more adventurous. You will see snow capped mountains, hanging glaciers and of course, the famous Northern Lights.

The season begins at the Alyeska Resort in mid-November and runs through mid-April. This area of Alaska boasts the longest daytime areas in the United States, with approximately sixteen hours of daylight each day during April. During December, however, there are only about seven hours of daylight which will be broadly in line with European resorts.

The Alyeska Prince Hotel is the place to stay! Here you will enjoy elegant rooms and fine dining. Nightly entertainment is available as well. There are other nightlife spots in the area as well, that are not associated with the Hotel.

If tubing interests you, then visiting the Glacier Tubing Park is an absolute must! Featuring two lanes of terrain and a surface lift, everyone in the family will enjoy spending time at the tubing park. The Alyeska Terrain Park is a must for snowboarding enthusiasts. Other winter activities that can be enjoyed in and around the Alyeska Resort include flight seeing, heli-skiing, ocean cruising tours, dog sledding, ice climbing, back country skiing, mountaineering, and polar bear viewing.

The Alyeska Resort offers a top winter vacation. Brave the elements and then return to the Hotel for some pampering. There are activities for the whole family to enjoy and there are many sights and attractions to be enjoyed as well. This really is a first class winter family ski vacation!

Richard Barker co-publishes the Hammock Survival Guide Sports Section at Feel free to reproduce any article as long as the author’s resource box remains intact.

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