Alyeska Resort‘s North Face is easily one of the most varied and unique zones in North America. Riddled with cliffs, bowls, and couloirs, the North Face is a must-ski for hardcores.
Recently we had the pleasure of speaking with Alyeska’s Mountain Manager Ben Napolitano about what makes the zone so special. Napolitano talks about these north facing runs like some kind of holy grail.
“A perfect day on NF is any day you get through the gate first on a rope drop!” – Ben Napolitano, Alyeska Mountain Manager
Ever since the zone opened top-2-bottom in mid-January, the North Face has been skiing extremely good overall. Luckily this year has seen a relatively stable snowpack and plenty of skier compaction, making for easy access. On years when the snowpack IS STABLE and you can lap the North Face, Alyeska is pure magic. On a good day, it’s hard to compare anything in the lower 48 to the terrain of the Chugach.
Where to Ski [Storm Days]:
Napolitano says, “on storm days I like going fall line from Sundeck gate or Chuck’s gate through Banjo and Westline.” These lines he explains sport some of the best powder pockets on the face with small trees to provide a reference points as you bounce down the westward face. Next door to Banjo’s, Lolo’s offers pillow drops and mini-golf sections that are worth a butter.
Go To Runs: Banjo’s, Lolo’s, and Westline
Where to Ski [Bluebird Days]:
When it goes blue, Alyeska’s mountain manager says head to Christmas and New Years Chutes. Christmas Chute in particular has some big airs on either side of the couloir. Once through either chute, wide aprons stretch almost another 1,000+ vertical feet to Autobahn, begging skiers and riders to put the throttle down. The rest of the way is just playful jibs on the way back to the tram.
The Monies are somewhat of a more adventurous experience, especially on low snow years. On big snow years like this one, patrol will wait patiently as avalanche conditions permit them to drop the rope for those willing to go for a hike.
Go To Runs: Christmas Chute, New Year’s Chute, Facet (Extra Spicy — The Monies)
North Face Stats:
- Vertical Drop — 2500′
- Skiable Terrain — 400+ acres
- Trails — 31
- Lift Access — Aerial Tram