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Alyeska, Alaska: Mountain Tour

Features
posted: 10/18/1999

Start the day by stepping outside the Prince and taking the 3 1/2-minute tram ride to Alyeska's 2,500-foot mark. From here, warm up on one of several perfectly groomed blue runs—Mighty Mite and Silvertip are two favorites. The main face of the mountain is well-designed: Gentle groomers are mixed in with off-piste treats, making it easy to meander off trail for a little adventure and then return to your comfort level when you're ready. For instance, take corduroy Silvertip to Chilkoot Ridge, a short, black-diamond un-groomed hop, then hit Runway, a cruiser that does justice to its name. Next, venture east to long blue cruisers such as Ego Flats, Switchback and Klondike—here you'll have each run to yourself. Or, take the higher road east to hike-to, black-diamond High Traverse, which is so popular you may encounter a little traffic. Then take Chair 4 and Chair 6 back to the top.

If you're warmed up and the snow is right, take a few runs in the double-black-diamond North Face area. All the runs take skiers back to the tram, so it's convenient to break for lunch at the tram station when you've had your fill of thigh-busters. If quick is your pleasure, try Glacier Express for a chicken sandwich, fries and the like. If you have more time, visit Seven Glaciers for a wonderful sit-down meal of crab cakes, grilled salmon and espresso crunch coffee cup dessert. Either way, you can savor amazing views.

After lunch make some laps on Dog Leg off Chair 6, then rack up a few on Race Trail off Chair 4. Heading back to the hotel is a breeze: Just look for blue Upper Sourdough to green Prince Run, which will take you right to the doors of the Prince.

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