skiing in alaska Mid march
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Dec 12, 2012 7:02 PM Last Post By: trekker502
Dec 11, 2012 11:59 AM
skiing in alaska Mid marchHello,
Im planning a ski trip for alaska for roughly a week mid march. Looking for a place on a budget. Good skiing, a place where I can see the northern lights at night. Also will it be cheaper to book a hotel at a resort which includes lift tickets and hopefully transportation or book a smaller hotel, book lift tickets and transportation separately? and Any advice will help. Thank you
Dec 11, 2012 2:22 PM
1There is literally only ONE ski resort in Alaska, plus some ski hills. Alyeska is the only game in the state for lift serviced, big mountain skiing. There are places to stay in Girdwood (where Alyeska Resort is) that are cheaper than the hotel, including B&B's. Alyeska is an amazing mountain if there is good snow. Gorgeous views and amazing terrain. You wont be disappointed. There are probably shuttles from Anchorage airport, and once in Girdwood, you wouldn't need a car. If you have money for heliskiing or cat skiing, well then - lucky you - head to Valdez or Haines, or Girdwood.
As for northern lights. You just gotta be lucky.
Edited by: range41
Dec 11, 2012 3:03 PM
2http://www.AlyeskaHostel.com in Girdwood is the most reasonably priced. Carriage House B&B on Crow Creek Road. http://www.alyeskaaccommodations.com to rent condominiums within one block of the lifts. Alyeska Prince Hotel has the lift to the top of Mt. Alyeska and a 5 Stars restaurant -- 7 Glaciers Restaurant. If you purchase a meal in the restaurant, the cost of that gondola lift is free.
You cannot get a good view of the Northern Lights from Girdwood/Glacier Valley because of the tall mountains surrounding the village. I drove from Girdwood to work in Anchorage every morning at 5:30 a.m., and did get spectacular views along Turnagain Arm of the Northern Lights as I drove north in the pitch dark. There is heliskiing on many glaciers and at the hotel, there is a cat tractor that pulls a sled of skiers along a trail and up the nearby glacier for deep powder skiing. There was tons of snow in Alaska last winter; maybe again this year. Alyeska was considered as an Olympics venue. Tommy Moe, who won 4 gold medals, grew up skiing at Alyeska.
There is an expensive shuttlebus from the Anchorage airport 40 miles south to Girdwood. If you stay in Anchorage overnight, then take the cheaper shuttlebuses that goes to Seward or to Homer or take the train to Girdwood. From the train depot in Girdwood or the strip mall at the gas station in Girdwood at the corner of Seward Highway/Alyeska Highway, take a local shuttlebus taxi to your hostel/hotel, or anywhere.
Edited by: trekker502
Dec 11, 2012 3:31 PM
3I lived in Girdwood an entire winter, saw northern lights from the valley floor many many times. But true that it needs to be a pretty above average night to see them.
Dec 11, 2012 6:47 PM
4I lived 1/2-block from Chair 4 for 6 years and the lights from the ski slopes plus the thick forest surrounding my neighborhood blocked the clear view that I did get when I was along Turnagain Arm. The mountain cliff on the north of the Valley also blocked the full view of the northern lights. I never did see red colors, only green, blue, white undulating across the sky.
Dec 11, 2012 10:13 PM
5No winter train service to Girdwood. Shuttle services are available from companies such as The Magic Bus and Alaska Direct Shuttle.
So far our snow levels in Southcentral Alaska are dismal but we've got many months of winter to go - nothing at all like last year though. In Anchorage we've only got about four to six inches in most areas. So far very much an ice skating kind of winter but Alyeska make's its own snow. You can check in on snow conditions there: http://www.alyeskaresort.com/snow-report.aspx. The site offers other links to lift ticket info and more. In March they offer night skiing Thrus through Sunday I believe.
I myself don't really equate Alyeska with "resort". It's a little ski town. Juneau has Eaglecrest though I believe it's mild in comparison. Nordic and telemark skiing are very popular throughout the state - and free use of trails! If I were a downhiller, I'd go to Alyeska. There is at least one hostel in Girdwood as well as a number of B*Bs. If you are going solo, however, some types of hotel deals won't really be deals - that is the ones that require double occupancy. Alaska Airlines' site has a link to Liftopia.com which shows some discounts for Alyeska in March.
Dec 12, 2012 5:06 AM
6The Alyeska Hostel and Carriage House B&B are about 2 miles each from the ski lifts, so you would need to work out transportation -- presumably the local shuttle/taxi still operates. I have not been there since winter of 2007/2008. The Seward Stageline shuttle and Homer Shuttlebus presumably operate on a daily basis out of Midtown Anchorage -- one was near the Loussac Library off of 36th Avenue and the Old Seward Highway and the Homer Shuttle was about 2 blocks north of Carrs Grocery on Northern Lights Blvd near the Seward Highway. In 2008, the cost was about $40 one-way compared with more than $75 for the Airport shuttle to Girdwood. At that time, the local Girdwood shuttle was $1 anywhere in Girdwood. On the weekends, there were special ski buses leaving from Midtown Anchorage for day-trips to Alyeska.
Alyeska has a Spring Festival in March.
The village of Girdwood may be somewhat compared with the village of Telluride, Colorado; the village of Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, is much smaller.
Edited by: trekker502
Dec 12, 2012 9:04 AM
7Seward Stage Line is operating southbound Tuesdays and Fridays this winter. Though Girdwood does not show on their schedule, you can likely do a flag stop there. Links to the Homer Stage Line don't seem to work any longer. Alyeska has indeed had weekend buses from Anchorage in past years but their website doesn't have much info about that service. Here's a link to the local shuttle service in Girdwood - still a dollar a ride for adults.
Dec 12, 2012 5:37 PM
Dec 12, 2012 7:02 PM
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