“The Last Frontier”… Alyeska, AK: Trip Report
Thee Crew Alyeska departed from several locations on Feb 12th to arrive at the Alyeska Resort with 59 souls and ski gear in tow eager to attack the 9” of new powder blanketing the resort. The early crew got the chance to frolic in this delightful condition our first afternoon. The follow-on group was treated to 4” more the following morning after the conclusion of our Welcome Reception with drinks and Taco Bar provided. At the reception, we held a glass high in honor of those who could not make the trip. Melinda, Nicole & Darin we missed not skiing with you. As well, a toast was made in the memory of Mike Burrell who would have been on this trip but taken from “Thee Crew” all too soon. And, to honor Bill Riedeman’s 90th birthday as one of the founding members of the club who wanted to make the journey as well. We got acquainted and formed skiing partners.
The following morning, we were treated to a Citation Welcome Breakfast compliments of The Alyeska Hotel & Resort. A short presentation about Alaska and the resort was conducted. Our Mountain Hosts met us at the ski valet for tours of the mountain. Up the gondola we charged and skied hither and yon in some dry, light powder as our guides pointed out the magnificent scenery, points of interest, runs to ski, and some historical facts about the area. That afternoon, the North Face Bowls were opened. Many took the opportunity to ski these steeps with sunshine in their faces and powder bouncing off their thighs. A rarity of conditions for Alyeska were had the rest of the day.
Valentine’s Day was skiing “cream on crust” from the 2” new on groomed runs and finding left over powder off the main runs. Late morning the boom of avalanche guns going off underneath the Headwall chutes was heard as well as patrollers handheld explosives as they traversed the lower Headwall terrain. Patrol opened the gates to High-Traverse and its abundance of terrain below. It was like an ant hill of activity thereafter as “Thee Crew” swarmed to get their piece of the goods.
We called it early to enjoy our Apre’s Ski Partee at the Sitzmark with beer/wine and Tex Mex appes to celebrate another great day on the slopes. The merriment of skiing an epic day at Alyeska was heard throughout this historic ski bar. Such a festive day turned into a day to be remembered for the happy couple Joe Lelli and Sarah Jacobs who announced their engagement that evening.
Thee Crew skied the next two days with a trace of new daily, in low temps making for ideal snow conditions, and sunshine. Each day presented new, jaw dropping mountain vistas to take in while on a break. With ~2,500’ vertical runs and varying pitch, roll and curves, fun was had by all. Some took wildlife, snowmobile, or snowshoe adventure excursions which were said to be lifetime experiences. The Farewell Partee with Salmon Baked Buffet and drink was the culminating event. Stories were told of the many good experiences. It was an uneventful return on the 17th from an otherwise “the best ski trip I have been on” comment shared amongst us. One for the memory banks and for sure hard to repeat. Alyeska delivered the goods! We were there and enjoyed it!......Thee Hawk Sends