Word on the Mountain
January 19, 2015
As we wrap up the MLK Holiday it is time to make some tough decisions here at the mountain. Looking back we have been skiing and riding on the Porcupine Lift since December 6th and we managed to pull together five days on the Upper East Side of the mountain. We have had a lot of fun and many people have taken advantage of our manmade snow and what little snow Mother Nature has given us. That said, we have reached the point in the season where is does not make financial or operational sense to continue operations on the Porcupine Lift/Area.
As of Monday, January 19 at 3pm we will be halting lift operations until we receive enough snow to open at least part of the upper mountain. All seasonal programs and Snow Sports School Programs are postponed until the snow arrives. Our staff will be in contact as we reopen to schedule the restart of programs and lessons.
This is not an easy decision to make and affects not only our skiing and riding guests but our 100+ employees who count on full winter operations to make ends meet. We will be keeping a skeleton crew on hand to keep the Lodge open Thursday through Monday from 9am to 3pm as well as start work on some summer projects. The Ticket/Pass Office and the Retail/Repair Shop will be open during these times. We have caught up on our backlog so if you are in need of equipment repair or tuning work come on up and drop your skis and snowboards off.
As we look forward, the weather does not appear to turn towards a colder setup for at least a week. Rest assured that as soon as we possibly can, we will reopen for the season and hopefully enjoy a great second half. When the time comes to open we will open with as complete operations as the snow conditions allow and will try to hold every scheduled event. Our Annual Fireworks Spectacular will be held regardless of snow on Saturday, February 14. We have been getting questions about possible refunds or credits on season passes due to the limited snow and operations to date this winter. In order to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the ski area our longstanding policy of no refunds due to weather is still in effect. We are however looking at ways to offer more skiing and riding time when the snow finally comes. Some possible options that we will institute based on the timing of when the snow arrives include extended operational hours (i.e. until 5pm) on weekends in the spring, Friday night skiing, full operations Thursday through Monday in April and even the possibility of extending the season another week to April 19. We want to try and provide as much value to our pass holders and skiing/riding community as possible in this challenging season.
In the meantime if you are looking to get out of town and find some snow take a look at the “Season Pass Perks” page for details on discounts at ski areas throughout the country. There is snow out there somewhere and going on an adventure to find it can be a lot of fun. Whether taking the ferry up to Skagway and on to Mt. Sima in Whitehorse or heading south via plane to the Lower 48 there are turns to be found. If you are looking to burn some energy locally the Dimond Park Field House offers discounted track visits and Turf4Tots passes to Eaglecrest Season Pass Holders. We will also be reaching out to other recreational facilities in town to see if they want to offer discounts to our skiing and riding community during this closure. More details on any discounts will be released as soon as possible.
We want to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and support during this difficult time. We have not given up on winter yet and are confident we still have many great skiing and riding days in store before the season is over.
THINK SNOW and we will see you on the mountain when winter returns.
Eaglecrest General Manager
Porcupine Chair will operate on Monday, January 19 from 9am -
Ski it while we got it SPECIAL! Everyone skis or snowboards for FREE!
Please make sure you stop by the ticket window to pick up your FREE lift ticket.
In addition all rentals will be $10!
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Packages are just $20!
The Upper Mountain will be closed on Monday.
Eaglecrest will be closed on Thursday, January 15 and Friday,
January 16. All Home school lessons scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been
We are anticipating the Porcuine Chair will operate on Saturday
and Sunday from 9am - 3pm.
We will be evaluating terrain on the upper mountain and will
make an announcement on Friday.
January 9, 2015 @ 2:15pm:
We have had a great two days on the Upper East Side of the mountain and it feels so good to get outside and let our skis and boards run at Eaglecrest. We are looking forward to a great weekend. As we come into the weekend, here is an update on our operations.
The East Side is skiing quite well, but it is still thin and there are numerous marked and unmarked hazards. We will be operating both the Ptarmigan (9am-3pm) and Black Bear Chairs (9:30am-3pm) with skiing and riding on the East Side of the mountain. The Porcupine Chair will operate from 9am to 3pm. Lift ticket rates for the upper mountain are; Adult-$36, Senior-$31, Teen- $26, Youth- $18. We will continue to offer a Porcupine Only lift ticket at the rate of $15 for Adult, Senior, Teen and $10 for Youth. A ticket to Nordic ski the Upper Loop is $15.
The Mountain Operations and Snow Safety Teams will be doing their best each day to give us the best possible skiing and riding conditions given the low snow depths. We are recommending only advanced and expert skiers and riders go to the Upper Mountain. In order to provide skiing and riding in these conditions we are requiring both season pass holders and day ticket holders who want to ski or ride the upper mountain to read the “Understanding and Acknowledgement of Mountain Conditions Participation Agreement”(link) and sign a roster each day they wish to ride Ptarmigan to the top of the mountain. Pass holders will be able to read the agreement and sign the roster either at the ticket window or the base of Ptarmigan. Upon signing the agreement each pass holder will be given a ticket for the day. Day ticket patrons will be able to read and sign the agreement at the ticket window. It is our hope that parents of children under 18 will be on site to assess conditions and sign the roster for their child, but in the event that this is not possible please print out the agreement and send it with your child. Anyone under the age of 18 is required to have a parent or guardian signature on the roster or agreement before they will be allowed on the upper mountain, NO EXCEPTIONS.
We are very excited for our first full weekend of skiing and riding on the upper mountain but I do want to remind everyone to be cognizant of your surroundings and other skiers and riders on the mountain. We are very blessed under normal snow conditions at Eaglecrest to enjoy a very low skier density. However, due to our limited amount of upper mountain terrain open and only 1-2 packed ways down the mountain there is a very high likelihood that our skier traffic will be very high and crowded in comparison to most days at Eaglecrest. I encourage everyone to review the Skier & Boarder Responsibility Code and use common courtesy and common sense while enjoying their time at Eaglecrest.
Be safe, have fun and we will see you on the mountain!
Eaglecrest General Manager
Monday, January 5, 2015 UPDATE:
I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season and made it back to work and school rested and ready for a new year. I and the entire Eaglecrest staff would like to thank everyone who made it up for some skiing and riding on Porcupine during the break. It was great to see so many smiling faces. We might not have a lot of snow, but it sure has been fun enjoying the snow we do have.
As we look forward to January I am happy to report that as of Thursday, January 8th we are going to open the East Side of the mountain for downhill skiing and riding off of the Black Bear Chairlift for advanced and expert skiers/riders only as well as a limited Upper Loop for Nordic skiing. The higher on the mountain we go the more snow we have and the ability to utilize the Black Bear Chair to access the higher terrain is a great feature of the lift. The snow is still quite thin but we have been able to pack some of Easy Bowl, Williwaw and some other areas enough to be able to open the East Side. With any luck we will pick up more snow this week and the skiing and riding will only improve.
Lift ticket rates will be priced as follows for the upper mountain; Adult-$36, Senior-$31, Teen- $26, Youth- $18. We will continue to offer a Porcupine Only lift ticket at the rate of $15 for Adult, Senior, Teen and $10 for Youth. A ticket to Nordic ski the Upper Loop is $15.
We will access the upper mountain via the Ptarmigan Chair lift from 9am to 2:30pm. It is important to note that the Ptarmigan Chair will only be used to access the upper mountain and we are going to limit the number of rides on the Ptarmigan Chair to 3 rides per day. Getting off the mountain via Williwaw and Sneaky is very thin and we need to limit traffic on the lower mountain in order to preserve the snow that is there. Access to the Upper Loop for Nordic skiing will be via hiking up the Sneaky Trail. As we will be operating on the upper mountain our regular Uphill Traffic Policy will go into effect. The West Side of the mountain including the West Bowl will be closed to skier/rider traffic of all types except as note in the Uphill Traffic Policy.
The exact terrain that will be open each day will depend on conditions but I anticipate most of the East Side being open on a daily basis. That said, the snow and conditions are going to be extremely variable and hazards, both marked and unmarked, will be prevalent. In order to provide skiing and riding in these conditions we are requiring both season pass holders and day ticket holders who want to ski or ride the upper mountain to read the “Understanding and Acknowledgement of Mountain Conditions Participation Agreement” and sign a roster each day they wish to ride Ptarmigan to the top of the mountain. Pass holders will be able to read the agreement and sign the roster either at the ticket window or the base of Ptarmigan. Upon signing the agreement each pass holder will be given a ticket for the day that will be punched for each ride on the Ptarmigan Chair. Day ticket patrons will be able to read and sign the agreement at the ticket window and then their ticket will be punched for each ride at the base of Ptarmigan. It is our hope that parents of children under 18 will be on site to assess conditions and sign the roster for their child, but in the event that this is not possible please print out the agreement and send it with your child.
I want to thank everyone in advance for adhering to the rules and policies we have set for this atypical opening of the upper Mountain. As Eaglecrest skiers, riders and staff we all wish that we had plenty of snow and that we did not need to operate in this manner but at least we are moving up the mountain and getting to stretch our legs after getting a warm up on the Porcupine Chair. We are confident that the snow will come and when it does we will be ready!
We look forward to seeing you soon
Eaglecrest General Manager
Friday, January 2, 2015 Update:
Happy New Year! After surviving Thursday’s heavy rain event we are happy to report that the mountain held up better than we expected. After spending time today evaluating conditions we decided to continue operating only the Porcupine Lift and associated terrain this weekend. We are looking forward to the start of most of our seasonal programs.
Barring any major setbacks we will open the Black Bear Chair and most of the East Side terrain for skiing and riding on Thursday, January 8 with operations continuing on our regular schedule. More details about how we will access Black Bear and the mountain conditions will be released on Monday.
Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Eaglecrest General Manager
December 31, 2014
Happy Holidays Eaglecrest Skiers and Riders!!
From everyone at Eaglecrest we hope you are having a great Holiday Season. While we are having a great time taking laps on the Porcupine chair and getting our ski legs back or learning how to hit a rail the question on everyone’s mind is when will winter finally show up and drop the much needed snow we are all starving for?
I will get to that in a moment but first I want to thank our team for making enough snow and being able to move the snow around in order to open and keep the Porcupine area up and running over the past month. Winter temperatures have been hard to come by and they have done an outstanding job making the best out of tough start to the season. If you have not made it up to enjoy a couple laps on the Porcupine Chair and feel the freedom of letting your skis glide I highly recommend making your way up to Eaglecrest over the Holidays. We will be open daily on the Porcupine Chair lift with skiing on Dolly Varden and Muskeg through Sunday, January 4th.
In regards to the big question of when will the upper mountain open the short answer is as soon as we possibly can. My management team and I have been evaluating conditions daily and working through any and every possible opening scenario. This includes the often referred to option of skiing and riding off of the Black Bear Chair. We are getting closer to having the snow depths to make the Black Bear Solution a viable option but we are not there yet. We have a weather system moving in Wednesday night that looked somewhat promising earlier this week but is now looking to bring warmer temps and the dreaded “R” word to the entire mountain. The optimist in me hopes that the cold temperatures hold on higher on the mountain and we can increase our snow depths up high. Either way we will be checking conditions again on Thursday and Friday and making any decisions on the upper mountain at that time.
As we look to be as aggressive as possible in opening terrain there is a high likelihood that some or all of the upper mountain terrain will be for advanced and expert skiers/riders only with many prevalent unmarked and marked hazards. In addition getting off the mountain at the lower elevations may be very challenging. We will be honest and forthcoming with all of our information and in return we will be asking skiers and riders to think long and hard about whether the terrain and conditions we will be offering are within their ability level and tolerance for equipment damage.
Looking into next week we have made the decision to close the whole mountain on Monday, January 5. We will reopen with the Porcupine Chair and associated terrain on Thursday, January 8 and will continue with our regular operating schedule going forward. If we get more snow before that time we will announce terrain openings as soon as possible.
On a final note when our snow finally does arrive we will welcome it with open arms and the management team is already reviewing options to expand the amount of time we will have to take advantage of our delayed winter. There are many options on the table and we hope everyone will be happy with our choices once they are made. It is our goal to make sure that despite a slow start the 2014-2015 season will be a long and enjoyable one filled with many powders days and fantastic conditions.
As always, we look forward to seeing everyone on the mountain and for more information as it becomes available check us out at skijuneau.com.
Eaglecrest General Manager