"In Anchorage, Alaska ... we have a 9 month ski season."
The above statement is fun to say. And every once in a
long while, the above statement is true. Well ... kinda,
sorta true. Let me explain ...
Every once in a while Anchorage has a ski season, within the
Anchorage Bowl and excluding Glen Alps, that starts in September
and ends in May. Such a ski season can see ski-able
snowfall in 9 months of the year. Not continuous
skiing for 9 months, but skiing in each of 9 months of the year.
Usually an Anchorage 9 month ski season starts out with late
September skiing on a light snowfall on the golf course fairways
at Russian Jack Springs Park. Then that snow melts and
October skiing comes for a few days when Hillside ski trails get
a bit of snow. The core ski season usually runs from
November to April. And then in rare cases, you can ski
Hillside trails in early May. Month number 9.
Of course, there is no official parameters on what the
boundaries for defining a 9 month Anchorage ski season is.
I exclude Glen Alps, because that would make a 9 month ski
season "too easy". I have skied an early snowfall at Glen
Alps in late August. And I've crust skied out of Glen Alps
in early June. So that's 11 months. And when you
consider the Municipality of Anchorage boundaries extend far
into the glaciated areas of Chugach State Park, 12 month ski seasons are possible every
year. So I choose the 'Anchorage Bowl' as the arena to
make the 9 month ski season a sporting goal.
It's been ten years since we've had a 9 month ski season.
I believe the last one was in 2011. But this year is
starting out strong as a 9 month ski season candidate.
East Anchorage got hammered with snow, 6" to 20", on September
24th. Skiing on Hillside Trails came to life for a few
days. Then a light snowfall brought a bit of skiing back
in early October, like at the Storck Homestead Park in Bear
Valley. Who knows what the end of the ski season will
bring. But if early May has snow lingering on Hillside
trails ... then it
will be a rare Anchorage "9 month ski season" score.