My late decision to come to Alaska resulted in long layovers in Anchorage in both directions. Going home I noted that Alyeska would be open until 6PM and I was able to get down there and get on the tram at 4PM.
Weather was thick overcast much as I had seen in Cordova, though I heard Alyeska was actually sunny most of the week. The mountain above the lifts has huge overhanging cornices from the 700+ inches they got up there:
Surface conditions were not great. I suspect the snow had been saturated with rain sometime as it was completely granular despite occasional flurries from those clouds. View down the hill toward Turnagain Arm:
The North Face was closed, as was the highest traverse line to the south from chair 6. The mountain had opened at 11AM, and though it was not that busy no runs were very smooth by 4PM. Steeper lines were mogulled and there was barely enough visibility to see them. Looking up from about halfway down chair 6:
Eventually I skied a couple of the short south faces dropping from under chair 6.
This snow several times generated wet slides that I needed to avoid.
As mushy as the snow was at mid I was never tempted to go down to the slow chair 1. I just made 8 runs on chair 6. View from the top of my last run into the sun still high at 6PM.
This time I did ski lower to the top of the 2 beginner lifts, then down one of them to the Hotel Alyeska. That's the first time I've done that as I always descended the North Face on my other trips here. View past closure ropes to the hotel below:
Total 13,900 vertical, often a workout pushing that heavy snow around. Spring comes late but swiftly in Alaska from what I saw this trip. Probably because daylight increases 6-7 minutes a day in March/April.
The huge tides in Turnagain Arm were receding that evening, enough here to make some small waves.
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,318K in 2010-11
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12