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Southcentral Alaska ski areas expected to open soon

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 8:50 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The wait is almost over for skiers and snowboarders in Southcentral Alaska as local ski areas plan on opening soon.

Arctic Valley Ski Area opens this weekend for skiers and snowboarders with memberships, followed by a bigger opening to the public over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

“This is the earliest that we’ve been able to open in at least the last 20 years,” Arctic Valley General Manager John Robinson-Wilson said on Monday. “Usually we just don’t see this kind of snow, especially (in the) early season.”

Robinson-Wilson added they got a couple of feet of snow in September which never melted off, contributing to their big base to start the season. The Hilltop Ski Area is next in line to open after they received over a foot of snow last week, as they work toward an opening date of Dec. 1.

“Snowmaking is going really well. The fresh snow is awesome but it’s so light and fluffy it doesn’t give us much of a base,” Hilltop Ski Area General Manager Trevor Bird said on Monday.

New to Hilltop this year is a full-service restaurant inside the day lodge and outside they have a new patio space with a fire pit. For the first time in two years, Hilltop said it will host its Winter Solstice event on Dec. 25.

The Alyeska Resort will open the tram and ski area on Dec. 10 and is reporting 38 inches of snow at its mid-mountain weather site. In the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Skeetawk says it needs about 12 to 18 more inches of snow before it can open after a rainstorm wiped out its initial base of snow earlier this year.

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