Alaska has had a good year of snow. Alyeska Resort is gunning for its all-time snowfall record and plans to stay open into May for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy it.
By the end of March, Alyeska tallied up 736 inches of snowfall since Nov. 1. With that snowfall, the resort is on track to tie or beat its record 939 inches of snowfall from the 2000-01 winter.
Due to the abundant snowfall, Alyeska opened more diverse terrain much earlier than usual, including the High Traverse and Christmas Chute. The North Face to Max’s lower face has been open most of this winter. For the first time in the Alyeska’s history, hike-to runs such as Max’s Chutes opened to the general public in January from the 3,302-foot top, and the Headwall also opened for two days in early March.
Alyeska's snow this winter has been much drier than usual, bringing plenty of powder days. Photo by Simon Evans. Courtesy of Alyeska Resort.
For Alyeska, the snow this winter has been exceptionally dry as opposed to its usual maritime wet snow. Due to cooler temperatures this winter, the snow-water content at the base of the mountain at 200 feet above sea level has run more than 40 percent lower than normal. That has translated into plenty of days of powder skiing.
With daylight reaching 10 hours per day at the end of March, the long spring ski season is underway at Alyeska. The resort will be open daily for skiing through April 29 this winter with chairlifts operating 11 a.m to 6 p.m. Select chairs and the aerial tram will continue to operate for skiing and snowboarding Fridays through Sundays until May 27. The last day is scheduled for Memorial Day, May 28.
The Mountain Learning Center at Alyeska is offering a deal of beginner lessons during April. Beginners can buy three lessons for $99, less than half the normal price. The package, which is available for anyone age five through adult, includes a group lesson, rentals, and a lower mountain lift ticket.