Town League Race Series lets locals compete on the slopes
The lifts at Alyeska Resort have been spinning as skiers and riders hit the slopes. As the season progresses, more and more terrain continues to open thanks to the hard work of Alyeska snowmakers, grooming staff and ski patrol. During the winter, the resort hosts a lot of events and signature activities along with live music at the Sitzmark every weekend.
January kicks off the highly anticipated Town League Race Series with a registration party Jan. 9 at the Sitzmark with the first race being held Jan. 16. Town League is a favorite among Alyeska and Anchorage locals alike. This seven-week long, night-skiing race series features men’s and women’s classes in alpine ski, snowboard and telemark. Sponsored by Coors Light and Odom Corp., Town League runs through February; racers enjoy live après music at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill with great weekly prizes from local event sponsors. Registration is limited, so visit alyeskaresort.com for more info.
Alyeska is proud of the major improvement to the resort’s upper mountain with the additional of the new Glacier Bowl Express (GBX). Glacier Bowl Express was designed and built by Doppelmayr USA based in Salt Lake City. The new lift will have an uphill speed of 1,000 feet per minute, slightly faster than the previous chair. Skiers and riders will notice some other new changes as well, including fewer lift towers on slope and a top terminal that is set back 20 yards to allow more room for people to get ready before dropping in, enjoying the view or taking a quick photo of the surrounding Chugach Mountains and Turnagain Arm.
The loading pattern at the bottom terminal will be different also. Glacier Bowl Express will have a perpendicular loading sequence making the lift lines less congested and easier to get through.
The winter concerts are in full swing at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill for the winter season. With a wide range of genre with everything from bluegrass to electronica, favorite local acts to Euro touring national acts, the Sitzmark is sure to have a concert for your taste in tunes. January kicks off with legendary jam band, Leftover Salmon featuring front man Vince Herman of Great American Taxi. The Boulder, Colo.-based Leftover Salmon headlined the 2013 Salmonstock this past August in Ninilchik. Leftover Salmon has been touring with the likes of Phish and Widespread Panic as well as the Grateful Dead since the late 1980s. They’re making the trip up to Alaska as a stop on their New Year’s Eve Tour, which also includes shows in Utah, Washington and Hawaii. Described as bluegrass meets rock ’n’ roll, Leftover Salmon leaves fans stuffed on their unique sound and tired from dancing all night. Advance tickets for this show can be purchased online at www.thesitzmark.com.
January rolls on with two great local acts, Big Fat Buddha on Jan. 10 and 11 and Rabbit Creek Ramblers on Jan. 17 and 18. The weekend of Jan. 24-25 brings the highly anticipated Hot Dog & Ski Bunny party. What used to be a single night event full of day-glow neon and ’80s rock has turned into a weekend-long party to celebrate the greatest decade none of us can seem to remember. After the 2013 party sold out in an astonishing eight minutes, an additional night was added to make sure all of the party-rockers can get they’re ’80s swerve on.
National acts featured at the Sitzmark are always a welcome sight for concert-goers in Alaska, who are pumped when a big name comes to town. The Sitzmark has some great national acts on the books including Tennessee rock ’n’ roll group Glossary (Feb. 14-16); Celtic rockers Young Dubliners (Feb. 21-22); San Francisco-based Mother Hips (March 6-8); Michal Menert of the electronic group Pretty Lights (March 13-14); Lucero (April 3-5); and Jerry Joseph and the Jack Mormons during the springtime Slush Cup weekend. Stay tuned for more on these great bands in the months to come.