On a cold, snowy afternoon in mid-February, Paul Fogel walked into the back workshop in Kingston and said “We should all go to Alaska.” Just like that, the trip of a lifetime was born.
Over the years it’s been a common goal of the staff to take an end-of-season trip to enjoy a few days of skiing and riding together. We’ve done trips to Utah, Colorado, Vermont and a few other random stops. Going to Alaska was more than a bucket list item for most of us; it actually seemed out of reach. However, in this season of undeniable hard work, long hours and determination to succeed through challenging times, it seemed like the right time to reward ourselves like never before.
Here are our Top 5 Memories from our Trip to Alaska (in no particular order)
# 1 GIRDWOOD IS A REALLY COOL TOWN
Truly nestled into an impressive mountain range 45 minutes outside of Anchorage, Girdwood is an authentic little ski town. It features the Girdwood Brewery with a cool outdoor scene including several fire pits, a food truck and impressive views. Several small local restaurants fill the town such as Hightower Pub, Chair 5 Restaurant and Double Musky Inn. Of the three, I enjoyed Double Musky the most. They managed the crowd well and had great seafood options. The Crows Creek local market was a perfect stop for anything else we needed during our stay.
# 2 SNOWMOBILING TO SPENCER GLACIER
Yes it’s the tourist thing to do in Alaska, but why not be a tourist for a day? We honestly didn’t know what to expect from this adventure but I have to say that I’m so glad we did it. Glacier City Snowmobile Tours is located at “The Trap” as you turn into Girdwood. We were fortunate that they were running their “Real Deal Tour” which takes you out to Spencer Glacier. Our Guide (Sadie) was awesome and led us to the Glaciers with a few stops in between. Most of the tour is a little more technical, but the open fields do allow you to open it up a bit. I think I got up to 55mph at one point. The Glaciers themselves are absolutely stunning and there are several ice caves to check out. Just an incredible experience.
# 3 CHUGACH POWDER GUIDES
If you’re dreaming of a big mountain backcountry experience, there is none other than Chugach Powder Guides. Known for their Heli-Skiing, they also offer Cat Access Skiing and Riding covering a very large section of the mountain range. Thanks to our good friend and customer Kenny D, we secured a full day of Cat Service that did not disappoint. Our Guides for the day were Evan, Ned and Zack and they literally seek out the best snow they can find for you. The terrain is sick and we got some awesome fresh turns in all day. That was our Heli-Skiing starter kit, so we’ll be back 😉
# 4 ALYESKA RESORT IS FUN
It’s may not be the largest resort we’ve ever been to but Alyeska Resort has a lot to offer. First, it’s impressive by nature. Just driving up to the mountain you can’t help but be in awe; it’s statue and steepness just stand out. The resort only has a few lifts and one Tram, so it’s fairly easy to get around and not get lost. By the way the Tram ride is the smoothest I’ve ever experienced and it’s a quick ride up. We found our way on some nice long (and steep) groomers. You can also cat track across several ranges and dip into some fresh snow. The mountain is just a lot of fun with many natural features and great views.
# 5 CHRISTMAS CHUTE
If you’re looking to challenge yourself on the gnarliest of terrain, Christmas Chute has been rated by SKI MAGAZINE as one of The Steepest In-Bounds Runs in North America. We gave this trail “a look” on Day 1 and then did our homework before attempting it on Day 2. Without question, this trail is for advanced skiers & riders only. With it’s 50 degree pitch, it offers over 1,000 feet of pure steepness and insanity. It’s legit scary. Rock walls drape the early part of the chute making it mandatory to do short hop-turns while holding on for dear life. Once you’ve made it through the main bottle-neck, the trail opens up a bit more, while still providing enough steeps to have you accessing each of your turns. The thrill of a lifetime, once you reach the bottom.
So that’s a quick recap on our amazing trip to Alaska. You can check out additional pictures on Instagram using #PBAK21 or feel free to stop into our Kingston or Fishkill shops and ask the guys about it. We’d love to share it with you. You can thank Paul for us 🙂