Spring skiing is excellent, both on the slopes and in the mountains
Spring skiing at Alyeska truly is a phenomenal experience. Winter in Alaska is long, dark and cold and for the locals who stick around for the entirety of winter nothing is better than the return of the sun and warmer temperatures. But it’s so much more than just a few degrees of warmth that make spring an exceptionally enjoyable time. It’s the added minutes of daylight every day, which very quickly turn into added hours of daylight every day, and knowing that entering that period of dark and cold is a long way away.
Alyeska Resort encourages locals to get out and ski and ride during this time. The Glacier Bowl Express chair lift is in the sun, as is all of the west- and south-facing slopes. Runs like South Face, Kitchen Wall, Gail’s Gully and Ptarmigan Gully are all perfectly located to receive the most sunshine on the mountain.
Springtime is also when many of the upper areas like Headwall and Center Ridge open up for hikers. These areas are some of the steepest slopes on Alyeska, and the terrain can range from tight and technical cliff runs to wide-open bowl skiing. Beacons are required for all skiers and riders, and this is enforced by ski patrol. Backpacks are always highly recommended. This way hikers can carry their skis and snowboards more easily, keeping their hands free to climb over rocks or use poles to help them ascend. It’s always a good idea to carry an extra layer, a snack or two, water, a shovel and avalanche probe in your pack as well.
Looking to get a little more solitary time in the mountains? Try backcountry skiing. Backcountry skiing is great; backcountry skiing in Alaska is better. No matter what your mode of transportation – whether it be your own two feet with a touring setup, with a partner and a snowmachine, snowcat or heli – being in the backcountry and skiing untouched terrain is a fantastic experience. Join Chugach Powder Guides for cat skiing adventures in the world-famous Chugach Mountain Range. The guides are highly trained and have extensive Alaskan experience. At Chugach Powder Guides, the goal is to make your backcountry adventure exciting, safe and memorable. Chugach Powder Guides wants you to see why Alaska’s mountains are recognized for having some of the best backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the world.
The 2016-17 ski season marks the first time in three years that Chugach Powder Guides has had lower valley conditions conducive for construction of the cat road. The construction of the cat road requires a minimum snow depth of three to five feet, which Girdwood has at the lower elevations.
During a typical cat skiing day, guests average 10,000 vertical feet of skiing over eight runs. Chugach Powder Guides cat guides draw upon a variety of terrain options to deliver a great day of skiing, including gladed trees, steep bowls, open powder fields, rock features, pillows and more. Expected group size is eight to 12 guests with two guides per snowcat group. Snowcat guests will receive an avalanche beacon to use for the day. The cat skiing trips depart directly outside the Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway, offering great convenience for guests.