See if you can win a season pass – in style
April means spring in southcentral Alaska, and there’s no better place to spend the longer days and warmer temps than at Alyeska Resort. Grab your friends, ski gear and high-intensity goggles for some much-needed vitamin D; your pale skin will thank you in the form of an epic goggle tan, and your friends will thank you for the great idea you had. Yes, spring is always a great time, and live music and fun events make it better.
April at Alyeska Resort brings the end of the ski season. Summer is in sight so it’s time to fit in as much skiing and riding as possible before summer gives way to fishing on the Kenai, hiking through the Chugach and mountain biking in the Alyeska Bike Park. With the longer days and warmer temperatures, skiers and riders can enjoy softer corn snow conditions, smooth groomer runs and great light all day, as well as skiing later into the evening with most lifts closing later than 6 p.m. Outlying areas on High Traverse and Chilkoot Knoll gives skiers and riders some great runs in the outer areas of Alyeska.
April also brings a perennial favorite among Alaskans: Spring Carnival! This year’s Spring Carnival takes place April 10-12, and promises to be one wild slopeside party with new events added to the classic schedule Alaskans have come to know and love. The festivities kick off Friday night at the Sitzmark with the Slush Cup costume contest. All Slush Cup hopefuls come dressed up and ready to shake their money-maker for one of the highly coveted, 50 spots for Saturday’s event. Costumes need to be PG-13 and semi-functional as contestants still need to be able to ski/snowboard across the pond. The event starts at 6 p.m. and all winners must register that night for the next day’s Slush Cup.
Saturday afternoon brings the big show, the annual Slush Cup event in front of the Sitzmark. For those of you who haven’t heard of Slush Cup before, here are the basics: 50 brave souls dressed in ridiculous costumes ski or snowboard as fast as they can toward a slush-filled pond and attempt to skim across the top. Most fail in hilarious fashion. The few who successfully make it across are judged on air, speed and style. The winner gets a season pass to Alyeska Resort for the following season. The event starts at 4 p.m. but show up early for a great viewing spot and pre-event festivities including product tossing, food venders and the Idiot Swim.
Sunday brings an entertaining mix of events to the Sitzmark base area and kicks off with the Dummy Downhill at noon. This event incorporates backyard engineering with poor construction techniques. Builders construct a skiing crash-test-dummy and send it down the hill through an obstacle course where the dummies will inevitably crash, burn and die in that order. Judges are looking for originality, air, speed and crash/destruction.
For the second year, Alyeska will be adding a summertime favorite with winter flare with the Snow Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race. Riders will attack a DH course on either their full suspension mountain bike or fat tire snow bike. Both styles of bike have distinct advantages and disadvantages but regardless of which bike is used, the fastest time wins the day. Sunday’s most popular event is the XtraTuf Tug-O-War. The rules are simple, pull on a rope and don’t end up in the pond. The winning team gets free XtraTufs from event sponsor Army/Navy.
No festival would be complete without music and Spring Carnival will be rocking all weekend. Taking the Sitzmark stage starting at 10 p.m. will be San Francisco-based The Mother Hips with special guest Nicki Bluhm for a $10 show. Both Bluhm and The Mother Hips have graced the Sitzmark stage before and performed to sell-out crowds. The Slush Cup concert will be no different. Advance concert tickets and more info on the bands can be found at thesitzmark.com.