Save the date: Alyeska’s opening day is coming, and you want to join the party

by • October 31, 2016 • Feature Photos, Highlights, White PagesComments (0)511

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The headwall of The North Face beckons. Opening day at Alyeska is set for Nov. 24, weather permitting. Photo by Ralph Kristopher.

Looking out the window, folks around Southcentral Alaska are seeing the signs of fall with color changing on the surrounding peaks and ridgelines turning them from the green of summer to the orange and yellows of fall. Yes, it’s true, summer is 100 percent over and winter is on its way and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it. But to the very excitable ski and snowboard community, this is great news as the anticipation builds to see what winter has in store.

Yes, the skiers and snowboarders of the world are always excited for this time of year and why shouldn’t they be? They’re about to feed the powder pig, get gnarly and/or, for lack of a better term, get their fix. For many Alaskans, skiing and riding at Alyeska is a way to get through and deal with the darker months. But reading this in October, the dark months are still weeks away.
Meanwhile, here are a few things to look forward to this winter. Glacier Bowl Express has a new drive and will be ready to crank up with a tentative opening day of Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving Day). Season passholders get a bonus day of skiing and riding on Nov. 23, conditions permitting, of course.

Girdwood’s favorite slopeside bar, the Sitzmark, will open Nov. 23, serving up great food and drinks during the day and après hours. The Sitz has plenty to do at night too. From trivia nights, to the ever-popular snow film series to Paint Nite, there’s always something fun to do. The real entertainment is for the weekends when the bar transforms into a concert venue, drawing local and nationally touring acts like the New Year’s Eve concert with Anders Osborne, and spring break with Leftover Salmon, North Mississippi All-stars and Young Dubliners, to name a few.

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A skier descends fresh powder at Alyeska last winter. This month, White Pages columnist Ben Napolitano shares his favorite runs at Alaska’s favorite downhill ski venue. Photo by Ralph Kristopher.

Skiers and riders also will be thrilled to learn that there’s a new bar in Girdwood and it comes with a sweet view, great access to the mountain and a classy feel; the brand new Bore Tide Bar is now open! The Bore Tide Bar is a modern, yet casual, addition to a local favorite, with small bites, snacks and sandwiches all available from inside the bar. You can also purchase your meal at the deli and then pull up a stool at the bar to relax. Enjoy a signature cocktail like the Turnagain Tea, the Alpenglow or the Tide while checking out the views of the Turnagain Arm or grab a pint of Alyeska Brewski after a lap or two on The North Face Trail as you take a break from making turns. Whether it’s a hike or a tram ride to the top in the summer/fall, or a quick escape from the cold for a quick pick-me-up while enjoying a day of skiing, this bar (and the views) are always worth the trip to 2,300 feet above sea level. For more details, check out page ## of this month’s issue. Coast magazine was there for Bore Tide’s grand opening, which happened to occur on one of the prettiest days of the summer.

Arguably the best bang for the buck at Alyeska Resort this winter is the Stay & Ski Free Mid-week hotel package. This package includes a night stay and two adult lift tickets to be used during a stay Sunday through Thursday. It’s a screaming deal! Insider tip/suggestion: If one were so inclined and fancied themselves a weather guru they could take serious advantage of this package and incoming weather systems (i.e. POW days) and book accordingly. Then, motor out to the resort, check in and spend the next day skiing and riding POW all while having a close, comfortable and warm place to stay the night – not to mention first tram in the morning and a saltwater pool and hot tub to come back to once the day is done. For more information, prices or to book, call 754-2111.

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