Alyeska Resort

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Alyeska Resort
Alyeska Resort in June 2008
Alyeska Resort in June 2008
Location Girdwood, Alaska
Nearest city Anchorage - 27 mi (43 km)
Coordinates 60°58′14″N 149°05′54″W / 60.9705°N 149.0982°W / 60.9705; -149.0982Coordinates: 60°58′14″N 149°05′54″W / 60.9705°N 149.0982°W / 60.9705; -149.0982
Vertical 2,500 ft (760 m) lift served;
3,200 ft (975 m) total
Top elevation 2,750 ft (840 m) lift served;
3,939 ft (1,200 m) (summit)
Base elevation 250 ft (80 m)
Skiable area 1,400 acres (5.7 km2)
Runs 73
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 11% easiest
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 52% more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 37% most difficult
Lift system 8 total
- 1 tram
- 2 high-speed quad chairs
- 2 quad chairs (fixed-grip)
- 1 double chairs (fixed-grip)
- 2 magic carpets
Lift capacity 10,335 per hour
Snowfall 650 in (1,650 cm) - top
512 in (1,300 cm) - mid
208 in (530 cm) - base
Snowmaking 113 acres (0.46 km2)
Night skiing Thu–Sat (4–9 pm)
nightly (late Dec to early Jan)

Alyeska Resort is a ski resort in Girdwood, Alaska, approximately 27 miles (44 km) from the city of Anchorage. Mount Alyeska is part of the Chugach mountain range and the Alyeska Resort is the largest ski area in the state.

Facilities and terrain[edit]

Mt. Alyeska Roundhouse
Alyeska Resort is located in Alaska
Alyeska Resort
Nearest city Girdwood, Alaska
Coordinates 60°57′42″N 149°4′50″W / 60.96167°N 149.08056°W / 60.96167; -149.08056
Built 1960
NRHP reference # 02000562[1]
Added to NRHP November 5, 2003

The Alyeska Ski Corporation was founded in 1954, and the first chairlift and day lodge were opened in 1959. The Roundhouse ski lodge and ski patrol station at the top of the mountain began construction in 1960. Still standing, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, and now houses a museum to local ski history.[1]

Currently, Alyeska has six (5) chairlifts, one (1) high-speed tram, and two Magic Carpets. Of the 5 chairlifts, one is co-owned by Alyeska and the Tanaka Foundation (Chair 5). Chairs 6 and 4 are high-speed detachable quads, while Chairs 7 and 3 are normal quads. Chair 4 was updated to a high speed quad in 2012. Chair 1 was removed from service in the summer of 2017.

Chair 4 ends halfway up the mountain. The tram ends three-quarters of the way up the mountain. The interconnected buildings contain the Roundhouse (patrol quarters), and a much newer facility housing the upper tram terminal, a quick-service cafeteria, and the Seven Glaciers 4-star restaurant and bar. At the base of the tram is the modern 300-room Hotel Alyeska.

Chair 6 goes to the highest lift served point on the mountain at 2,750 feet (840 m). Several areas above Chair 6 are occasionally opened, but require hiking to access. Plans to build a new chair lift higher up the mountain have been announced.

Mount Alyeska is a fairly challenging mountain, and has a much higher percentage of advanced and expert runs, as compared to most other mountains in North America. It has a small section for the novice, but the rest of the mountain is almost entirely for the intermediate and the advanced skiers.

Terrain Aspects[2][edit]

  • North: 35%
  • West: 40%
  • East: 0%
  • South: 25%


Alyeska hosted World Cup giant slalom ski races in 1973 for both men and women. Alyeska first hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships in 1963;[3] the championships returned in 1981, 2004, 2007, and 2009.[4]

Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe (b. 1970) sharpened his racing skills at Alyeska as a teenager in the 1980s.[5]

New owner[edit]

Alyeska was bought in December 2006 by John Byrne III, who says he plans to make many improvements to the resort, concentrating on people who come to ski for the day. Some of the improvements were installing rfid gates at all of the lifts, taking the bubbles off chair 6, because they were vandalized, repainting the tram, and building the only superpipe in Alaska.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Best Ski Resorts, ZRankings. "ZRankings Topographical Survey, Alyeska". ZRankings. ZRankings. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Terrell, Roy (April 15, 1963). "Cool skiing in sun-baked Alaska". Sports Illustrated. p. 54. 
  4. ^ "Alyeska to host U.S. Alpine Championships in 2009". Ski July 7, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]