Spring skiing brings out the best in winter
For many Alaskans, March is the favorite time of year to visit Alyeska Resort with the best skiing conditions of the season. With the spring equinox on March 20, skiers and riders will enjoy 10 hours of daylight, with more light each day. The snow is soft, but the weather is usually mild and the long days are best enjoyed outside – just be sure to have tinted goggles.
Students and their families anxiously look forward to spring break – the dates this year, including weekends, are March 8-17. On March 11, the first session of the Silvertip Spring Break Camp begins. Camp includes three days of skiing and snowboarding focusing on either downhill or freestyle skills for skiers ages 5 to 12 and snowboarders ages 8 to 12. It’s the perfect way to keep kids active and having fun during the break.
But that’s not all that’s going on. Here’s a calendar of happenings not to be missed:
Military members and their families receive a day of free skiing on March 4. Along with free lift tickets, military members also receive 50 percent off gear rentals and lunch specials at Glacier Express and Sitzmark. Special military room rates are also available. This offer is valid for immediate family members with military ID. If you can’t make it, plan ahead – the last Military Monday of the season is set for April 1.
Alyeska Resort is proud to host the USSA Western Region U16 Junior Championships (formerly known as the Junior Olympics), March 19-23. This event will showcase 170 of the top 14- and 15-year-old racers from the five divisions of the Western Region. The championships consist of Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom competitions.
“It’s been over 15 years since Alyeska Resort has hosted these races, and our goal is to create memories of a lifetime for these young athletes,” said Alex von Wichman, event chairman and board member of Glacier Valley Ski Education Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Alyeska Ski and Snowboard Club. “For many of these kids, this is the first big race of their career and the first time they have actually boarded a plane to travel to an event venue. Training and competition are obviously important, but our goal is to make this as much fun as possible for the participants.”
The winners of each discipline and the combined will be named to the USSA Junior Championships Team and automatically qualify for the Western Region Elite FIS Series the following season. This is an exciting chance to come watch these young, elite competitors in their quest for a place on the U.S. Ski Team.
March 23 marks the end of night skiing for another season. Improved visibility under the lights, cheaper lift tickets and shorter lift lines are a few of the reasons to take advantage of night skiing and riding while you still can, Thursday through Saturday, 4-9 p.m.
Elevate your dining experience at the Seven Glaciers Wine Dinner featuring Napa Valley winemaker Pine Ridge Vineyards March 24 at 7 p.m. At $150 per person, indulge in premium wines perfectly paired with Chef Jason Porter’s tasting menu. Restaurant reservations are at 754-2237.
Lastly, this month, Easter Sunday falls on March 31 this year. Enjoy a memorable holiday with the kids, beginning with a mountaintop sunrise service at Glacier Express, followed by an egg hung in the pond courtyard of The Hotel Alyeska and Easter brunch at the Pond Café. Afterwards, head out on the slopes to burn off some of those calories. Snowboarders can take part in the April Fools’ Banked Slalom, beginning at 2 p.m. on Main Street. The following day, April 1, spring lift hours begin. The lifts will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. for the remainder of the ski season.
The resort has put a lot of time and effort behind the entertainment, events and food offered at the Sitzmark this winter. The slope-side bar and grill features live music every Friday and Saturday night, Open Mic Nights, Absolut Trivia every Wednesday and nightly food specials. Upcoming bands include H3, Anders Osborne, Potcheen, Salem and Michael Menert. All Sitzmark shows start at 10 p.m. and are for those 21 and older only. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 754-2275. Keep up-to-date on all Sitzmark happenings at its newly launched website, www.thesitzmark.com.