Alyeska Resort’s tram is back. After an accident sidelined the tram for six weeks, the resort resurrected the lift just in time for the February holiday weekend. Skiers this spring can access it and dine at Seven Glaciers again. For spring visitors, the resort is offering lift and lodging packages.
On New Year’s Eve, a strong wind gust that blew over 40 mph slammed one of the tram cars into the guide rail on the upper tower. The accident caused the rail to impale the cabin, leaving the car wedged on end. Only one of the five passengers sustained an injury, hitting her head on a bench. Rescue of the passengers took several hours due to high avalanche conditions on the North Face Trail.
The accident sidelined the tram, which was used for skiing and snowboarding as well as access to the Seven Glaciers mountaintop restaurant that serves gourmet evening dinners. Without the tram, Seven Glaciers closed for the duration, too.
The resort began running the tram again after it passed inspections, but at a slower speed and with only one cabin. In place of the damaged car, an 8,000-pound steel ballast adds the weight to allow the lift to operate with the remaining cabin.
A slower tram speed is required with the current set up while the damaged car undergoes repairs. The tram ride now takes eight minutes, with uphill capacity chopped to 60 passengers every 15 minutes.
Alyeska Resort has shifted their spring schedule, due to the tram. The tram will operated daily, pending weather conditions, through April 21. Other lifts will continue to run through April 28 for spring skiing, but May skiing will not be available this spring.
When the tram is taken offline in April, the repaired cabin will be reinstalled. Resort officials aim to have the tram operational for the summer sightseeing season by the third week in May.
Seven Glaciers Restaurant re-opened on Valentine’s Day. It resumed its normal Friday-Sunday schedule for dining. Two special wine dinners are still slated for March 24 and April 14.
Skiers and snowboarders can get several deals this spring at Alyeska. Military personnel and their families can ski for free on March 4 and April 1.
The resort is also offering a ski and stay package that starts at $199 per night. The package includes one night of lodging in a deluxe room of the Alyeska Hotel and one day of lift tickets for two people. The package is available until April 29, but higher rates apply in March.
For more information, look here.
Alyeska Resort, AK
Feb 18, 2013 - Apr 29, 2013
skiers and snowboarders