Alyeska Resort inaugurates its big mountain event this spring. An abundant snow season has opened up rarely skied lines at the resort, which could amp up the competition at the Alyeska Chugach Open. The event will then serve as a feeder for the World Heli Challenge.
The Alyeska Chugach Open, scheduled for March 22-25, 2012, gives the opportunity for athletes to test their skills against Alaska’s big mountain terrain. The event is open to alpine skiers, snowboarders, and telemarkers. A junior division will pit the 13-17 age group against each other, but the open division requires that competitors are at least 18 years old.
For the competition, the resort plans to select double black diamond venues that are usually off limits to the public. The big mountain terrain will include steeps, chutes, and cliffs with 2,500 feet of vertical.
Winners in the Alyeska Chugach Open will not only receive fame and glory, but entry into the World Heli Challenge in Valdez in April. The World Heli Challenge limits entry, which consists of big names in all disciplines plus X-Game and Olympic athletes. The World Heli Challenge takes place April 14-26, 2012 in Valdez. It showcases the world’s best backcountry skiers and riders shooting down exposed pitches and steep cliffs accessed only by helicopter.
For a taste of the extreme terrain use in the World Heli Challenge, check out this video of the 2011 competition in New Zealand by Mic Simpson:
Participants in the Alyeska Chugach Open have three options for registration. Entering the competition only costs $110. Packages that include the competition and lift tickets cost $230 with a three-day lift ticket included or $310 with a five-day lift ticket included.