Alyeska Resort opens in November

The winter's first dusting of snow can be seen on the Chugach mountains, a sure sign that the winter recreation season is just around the corner. Alyeska Resort opens to skiers and snowboarders in late November and has some brand new highlights to offer its guests, including new terrain, extended night skiing, special packages and Alaska's first superpipe. Located just 40 miles south of Anchorage, Alyeska Resort features 2,500 vertical feet of skiable terrain, including the longest continuous double black diamond ski run in North America. The resort gets an average of 750 inches of snowfall per year, which means its got more powder in December than many resorts see all season.

Alyeska's trail crew has been working around the clock to add an additional five ski runs to the 2009-2010 season. The new runs feature expert tree skiing and will open as soon as conditions permit. This winter, Alyeska will also extend night skiing operations through March 27, a perfect time for spring breakers to get out and enjoy the fresh powder under the stars. Alyeska Resort offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America and has more average hours of daylight starting in February than the continental United States. This spring, a portion of the mountain will remain open seven days a week for modified hours through April 25. Following the end of weekday operations, Alyeska will continue to operate on weekends through May 31, conditions permitting. The biggest attraction at the resort this year is the addition of the Alyeska Pipeline Superpipe – Alaska's first superpipe – measuring 300 feet long, 55 feet wide and boasting 18-foot walls, which all equal a monster thrill for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Alyeska Resort is located just 40 miles south of Anchorage via the Seward Highway, an Alaska's only federally designated All-American Road. The Hotel Alyeska features 304 guest rooms with upscale amenities and a variety of dining options. The resort's aerial tramway takes skiers – or those who just want to take in the scenery – to the viewing deck at the 2,300-foot level of Mount Alyeska, where you can also have dinner at the renowned Seven Glaciers restaurant. After a long day outside, grownups will enjoy the newly completed hotel spa, while kids will get a kick out of the outdoor skating pond and indoor heated pool. Or set them up to learn the fundamentals at the Mountain Learning Center offering private and group ski and snowboard lessons.

Alpine enthusiasts can look forward to a variety of events throughout the ski season. Kick off winter solstice with the Winter Solstice Slopestyle on Dec. 19, or dress like Santa Claus and ski for free on Dec. 24. You can even kick off the New Year at Alyeska Resort at the New Year’s Eve torchlight parade and fireworks event on Dec. 31.

For more winter activities in Alaska, click here.

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