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Report from February 3, 2021
Variety is the spice of life.
So we spiced it up today.
Tree-skiing, speedy groomers, powdered bootpacks, wide-open bowls—we skied a lot of varying terrain today at Alyeska Resort.
I woke up this morning to a reported four-inches of new snow—a lovely refresh compared to the freezing, firm snow I skied yesterday.
Temps were hovering around 16ºF this morning, which was a godsend compared to yesterday’s high of 2ºF.
There were noticeably more people skiing today than yesterday, but it still didn’t feel that crowded at all.
Circa 11 am, I met up with Alyeska’s marketing director Ben, at the tram base, who would double as both a ski buddy and a certified Alyeska tour guide today.
Ben is a die-hard skier from Maine who spent his formative skiing years in Utah before migrating north to the rugged, big mountain powder-mecca that is Alaska.
We agreed that North Face was the move this morning because the visibility at this time in the day was less than ideal, and at least here, we were both familiar with the terrain—which was good.
North Face is always good.
We bulleted through the Sun Deck gate below the tram shack up top into some wild-looking, snow-covered trees.
I swear they were straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
From the Sun Deck gate, we skied Lolo down into Tram Pocket.
The snow here was cruddy, intense, and set your legs on fire.
This is the type of terrain that makes your legs strong.
“There’s a reason [Alyeska] breeds good skiers.” – Ben
We skied this Dr. Seuss tree-skiing terrain for a couple of laps before venturing elsewhere on the mountain.
From the top of the tram, Ben glanced at a bootpack called Chilkoot Knoll across the way, which we agreed we had to ski over to and hike ASAP.
So we did, and a short five-to-six minutes later, we were on top of what would be the best turns we scored all day.
The views from the top of the Knoll were absolutely jaw-dropping.
The visibility suddenly switched from challenging to clean, and we could see perfectly.
The line was short and sweet, and we spun quick, tight turns in super light-and-dry powder-snow.
It was so good we didn’t hesitate to hike it again immediately.
I skied Chilkoot Knoll thrice today.
Afterward, I grabbed a socially-distanced meal of fish ‘n chips at the absolutely scrumptious Bore Tide restaurant, a couple of local Alaskan brews, and afterward somehow found myself skiing in North Face again.
By now, the sky was nearly blue (as blue as it gets this far above the equator), and I sailed toward the tram base down a trail called Banjo.
Banjo was a little variable but still held pockets of fresh, light powder-snow that I could slash and slice as hard as I wanted to.
I couldn’t think of a more flawless way to finish the day.
Apparently, there is a strong chance that Alyeska’s ski patrol will open more hikeable terrain tomorrow.