Snow in Alaska signals the far north ski and snowboard season is poised to start. That means the lifts at Alyeska Resort will begin turning this week for skiing and snowboarding, just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. Skiers will find a new chair, upgraded trails, and packages for lodging and lift tickets.

Alyeska Resort plans to launch daily operations starting Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. The lifts will run from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Mountain Learning Center will commence giving lessons, and the Sitzmark Bar and Grill will serve up après. The aerial tram will also accommodate sightseers.

A new lift from the Daylodge to the upper mountain will enhance moving up the mountain. Ted’s Express, a new high-speed quad chairlift, was installed this fall to replace the old Chair 4. The new Doppelmayr lift should increase the uphill skier capacity and provide a faster ride at less than seven minutes.

Other improvements to the hill include trail and power projects. Widening and grading trails will improve safety, especially with a new bypass skirting the base of Chair 6 to reach the lower mountain trails. Installation of new turbines should improve power consistency for lift operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To check out the upgrades to the resort, you can get a ski and stay package for Alyeska that starts at $279 per night. The package includes a one-night stay in a deluxe room at The Hotel Alyeska, one-day lift tickets, and a $25 resort credit. The package is based on double occupancy midweek, but you can add two more adults per room for $25 each.

The ski and stay package is available Dec. 1, 2012 through April 29, 2013 with the exception of Dec. 27-31. Rates for weekends and holidays run higher, starting at $309 per night.
 
For reservations, call 800-880-3880 or 907-754-2111. You can also find more information here.