Arctic Valley welcomes you to winter with a kick off party

Arctic Valley memberships are available on the Arctic Valley website

Arctic Valley merchandise sold at membership event. Photo by Carlee Christensen

The winter season is nearly upon us, and many people are getting excited. I know that I have seen an increase of social media content about getting back out on the slopes.

Arctic Valley used this momentum to welcome us into the winter season with a kick off party at the Williwaw Social on Nov 11.

It was full with people who shared the same excitement for the beginning of the season. Some people even purchased their memberships for Arctic Valley.

“This event is just to encourage new membership and then just reward our members that have been so loyal to us, to just get everyone together before the ski season, and to tell people about our volunteer opportunities, also some job openings. It’s really to celebrate Arctic Valley,” said Marissa Riopelle, first vice president of membership for the Anchorage Ski Club.

There are a few options for memberships and season passes which can be found on the Arctic Valley website. The one of note for UAA students is the Black Diamond membership at the student discounts price of $295. This membership includes Public Use Cabin discounts and free trailhead parking. If you are going over to Juneau at any time during the season, you can get three free days at Eaglecrest. 

While there are many benefits to getting a membership, there are also a range of volunteer opportunities, including administrative work, volunteer liftee, or even selling tickets in the lodge.

These volunteer opportunities come with their own benefits. Working up hours can get you free skiing for the day. All it takes is to volunteer for one shift.

While Hilltop is great for local access and beginner terrain, Arctic Valley offers a more challenging terrain for those who are looking to advance their skills.

“Arctic Valley does have, in my opinion, world class backcountry lift assisted terrain that isn’t really an option in a lot of other ski resorts. They groom almost everything, and they flag everything off … We open a lot of ungroomed terrain so you get a lot of experience,” said Alanna Blough, a member of the Arctic Valley Planning Committee.

Arctic Valley is limited on beginner terrain, but they are looking to create more.  However, it is difficult given their steep terrain.

In addition to creating more beginner terrain, Arctic Valley has many ideas for a better future of their ski area.

Blough said they are considering different options to remodel the lodge, possibly including an event center. Upgrading the lifts is also a possibility, to replace some of the aging equipment. Finally, they are looking to build a cluster of overnight cabins in the lower area. A couple years ago, they opened the first public use cabin on top of the mountain. However, it is not open all year round because it is used as an observation room for the ski patrol.

When it comes to the summertime, they are possibly looking to include more summer activities and events. Considerations include installing a zipline and improving their trail connections.

We are a long way from the summer, and Arctic Valley may even have an early snow season. The planned date for open skiing and riding is Dec. 10.

“It’s a community ski resort so we’ve very inclusive,” said Blough.

“Anybody who wants to start there — I learned there from hardly any skiing experience and I feel a better skier for it just because I learned at Arctic Valley.”