New snow gets Alaskans excited for ski season

New snow gets Alaskans excited for ski season
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:57 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The ski season is officially kicking off in Alaska, and with a massive amount of snow coming down Tuesday night and into Wednesday, there is excitement over being able to hit the hills.

Many in Anchorage woke up Wednesday to one of the snowiest December days in years, and while it may have been a headache for many drivers, it’s shaping up to be spectacular for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding.

“It’s been snowing here since (Tuesday), we’re pushing over two feet of snow so far, and we opened early (Wednesday) just to try to get folks in here because schools were closed today,” Hilltop Ski Area General Manager Trevor Bird said. “Conditions have been epic, you know, I don’t think we’ve seen this amount of snow in one snowfall in years.”

Bird says the runs there opened last Wednesday, and they’ve been busy ever since.

“We’ve got a few weeks until Christmas break, it seems like a strong turnout to start the season, the interest is high, our stoke is high, I guess,” Bird said.

Brian Burnett is the Ski Area General Manager at Alyeska, and said he’s “extremely” excited for the official start of the ski season there.

“The mountain always shapes up better when Mother Nature cooperates,” Burnett said. “We rely on our snow guns for some of the base area snow, and getting some natural snow to mix in with it really just creates great surfaces for everybody to ski on.”

Burnett says Alyeska has 16 inches of snow at the base so far, 32 inches at mid-mountain, and 45 inches at the top of the Glacier Bowl Express.

On Friday, all of the ski lifts should be operating at Alyeska for opening day, Burnett said, when the resort will officially be kicking off the ski season for all skiers and snowboarders there.

“You will be able to ski all the way from the top of chair 6 all the way down to the Sitzmark,” Burnett said.

He also said conditions on the mountain are typical of early season forecasts, but that any snow is good snow.

“I think they’re having a blast,”Bird said about skiers and snowboarders at Hilltop. “We were watching kids tumble down the hill and just having a great time in the snow.

“Normally we don’t get this much, so it just makes for a fun day to experience it.”