Epic Events + Awesome Snow = April At Alyeska, AK

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Snow faithful flip over Alyeska Resort in April. Image: Ralph Kristopher

Alyeska Resort rolls out a rowdy carpet with their calendar of notorious April events. Powered by prolonged ski operation hours and the local’s love for all things snow-culture, season finale festivities along the Last Frontier are a ski industry mainstay. And, as Alaska’s leading ski destination, Alyeska Resort enhances its reputation for the steep and deep by adding a line-up of classic, off-the-wall spring celebrations ending in red-hot party nights.

Feel the flow of Banked Slalom action at Alyeska Resort. Image: Ralph Kristopher

First up and fast approaching is an unforgettable on-mountain The April 7th Banked Slalom. Oakley Alaska, in partnership with the state’s largest commercial ski resort, Alyeska Resort mark the Sunday date by wrangling 120 boarders thru a wild upper mountain banked race course further enhanced by man-made features and the natural amplification of Mount Alyeska itself.

Speed slays…the competition in Alyeska’s Banked Slalom race. Image: Ralph Kristopher

It’s racer-against-racer with no quarter asked, and none given.

Event registration, located at the Alyeska Daylodge or Tram Ticket Office is already open and set to remain so until entrant limit (120 riders) is reached. Competitors will be categorized by gender as well as four age-based fields (minors signed for by parent). Naturally, the race course is on-mountain, meaning the venue will be cordoned and available only to those bearing proof of registration.

Just a few of the many hopeful entrants to Alyeska’s classic Banked Slalom. Image: Ralph Kristopher

Full-send race fun commences for the snowboard only event at 2pm and (pending the progress of competition) is expected to close by 6pm. An awards ceremony worthy of Bank Slalom grandeur follows at the deck area of centrally located and always saucy Sitzmark Bar & Grill.

Then, before even snow could have time to cool, a mid-April extravaganza known as Spring Carnival reignites the Stoke at Alyeska Resort. Ranging the 12th thru the 14th, this famous event mixes family-friendly entertainment with freewheelin’ ski mania in one epic weekend.

Mother Hips. Image: Ralph Kristopher

Since spring-fling skiing goes hand-in-hand with silly get-up, Alyeska’s opening Carnival gathering is a Friday night costume party. For eight years crowds have flocked to this annual party for its fancy dress, opportunity at a free concert ticket, and discounted Slush Cup entrance the following day. And, as per usual, the Sitzmark’s legendary live music scene enlivens the night straight thru to its last drinks.

It’s Saturday before sleep sets in, and Alyeska is already in motion. The resort takes energy and excitement to whole new level via the perfect pandemonium of Slush Cup.

Splish-Splash, someone takes a bath at Alyeska Slush Cup. Image: Ralph Kristopher

Barreling into its 42nd year the Alyeska Slush Cup, brought to you by Alaska Airlines, is the definition of free and fun lovin’ ski spirit. Picture a field of fifty outrageously costumed competitors flinging themselves at a mini-ramp in the hopes of successfully skidding ninety feet of chilly ‘pond.’

Registration begins early and closes quickly. In fact, twenty-five of the fifty possible entrants must persuade the judges to allow their admittance. Prestigious is a big part of the draw but its rewards awards certainly raise an eyebrow as well—think comp’ed season pass and lifelong bragging rights.

Thousands-strong crowds are well in place by 3pm to witness appetizer event, the Idiot Swim. For the entertainment of the accrued masses, reckless carnival-goers swim the pond’s icy clear waters. The main event follows a mere hour later. And, as always, Sitzmark Bar & Grill operates as a 21yr-old and over only base of operations for refreshment and rockin’ late night tunes.

Traveling band, Lucero adds heat to the Sitzmark stage. Image: Ralph Kristopher

The iconic, stunningly beautiful draw to playing a gig at Alyeska Resort’s famous Sitzmark wins the venue the biggest names in traveling music talent. The artists thrive on the awesome crowd energy, meaning songs keep coming til the sun comes up—or just about.

A concert at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill is a quintessential cap to a ski experience at Alyeska Resort.  

Saturday’s Slush Cup celebrations run well into Sunday, which is handy as the event line-up of the following day happens to be a quirky favorite among the local Alyeska ski faithful.

Alyeska’s aerial tram going up, with bikers eager for the thrill of descent. Image: Ralph Kristopher

Closing Spring Carnival in style, Sunday events include zoom-tastic Speedway Cycles Mountain Bike Race, hilarious Dummy Downhill, and the thrilling XTRATUF Tug-of-War.

Race action commences at the mid-morning hour of 10am. The course itself careens along Mt. Alyeska’s classic Main Street trail. Entrance is free to lift ticket/season pass holders. Entrants may begin uploading at 9am on Alyeska’s Aerial Tram.

Following race action, Dummy Downhill is a labor of love, and aerodynamics. Local organizations, ski teams, and resort departments create original, goof-ball, slide-centric Dummies. These colorful, chuckle-provoking entries are then sent sliding caterwaul over a snow-shaped, cheese wedge-style jump. Dummies are judges by distance travelled, and prizes go to this event’s top finishers. Crowds may also peruse the craftsmanship behind the fun with a Parade of Dummies displayed near chairlift Bear Cub Quad.

Rip-snortin’ Tug-of-War action at Alyeska Resort. Image: P.M. Fadden

The finale of Sunday’s event tri-fecta is XTRATUF Tug-of-War. Like its Slush Cup sibling, Tug-of-War also features a snow-held body of water. Here, five-person teams arranged via age bracket battle it out to see who gets wet. It’s an all-out or all-in group effort to win the honor to be the last team standing. And, naturally, a prize from the event’s sponsor goes to each member of the winning team.

Alyeska Resort roars in the spring with April events that are all-time awesome. Image: Ralph Kristopher

With an April events line-up to rival any in the nation, Alyeska Resort is all set to close out a stellar ski season in truly wild, fun-lovin’ AK style.

At Mount Alyeska, the sun is bright, the skies are blue, and the corn fresh for skiing. It’s April along the Last Frontier, and just the right time to enjoy the stellar events at its recreation epicenter, Alyeska Resort.


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