Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Alyeska Resort - North Face Trail

Alyeska Resort - North Face Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 3,923 ft.
Distance: 2.4 mi.
Elevation Loss: 2050 ft.
Start Time: 12:48pm
End Time: 1:36pm

Trip Report:
My brother David, my oldest son Luke and I set out from the slopeside building atop the Alyeska Tram to hike the north face trail back down to the main lodge. We had an hour to accomplish it before the rest of the group would meet us at the bottom riding the tram. The trail lists at roughly 2.4 miles so we figure we would have plenty of time if we moved well.

Leaving the trailhead down the north face
We exited the building on the southwest side and wrapped around slightly to the north and quickly picked up the start of the trail. We had seen it from above while riding the tram upwards. We were impressed at the narrow line of switchbacks that make up the upper portion of the trail. Now standing on the switchbacks we were no less impressed. It was a fairly narrow but well conditioned single track trail that wound back and forth in a dozen or so switchbacks. We scooted along quickly through them. I was carrying a gatorade bottle in hand. The temps were probably nearly 70 as we started and we quickly warmed up. I was carrying my rain jacket in hand in minutes.

Just getting started, a nice summary look at the trail and the views
The switchbacks eventually mellowed out into a more straightened single track which continued to meander to the northeast crossing a couple of small creek beds including Christmas creek and New Year's Creek. Eventually the trail gained a more widened doubletrack like segment which was actually one of the bottom "catch-all" ski runs during winter season. The last mile plus was on this highway of a trail. We encountered people at various spots all along the trail. Most all were wishing they were on the downward hike as we were. This is a fairly steep trail gaining nearly 2000 feet in those 2.4 miles. The trail put us back to the bottom of the ski lifts and the tram at the main lodge. We took 48 minutes on the descent hike.

Looking down the numerous narrow switchbacks

These signs gave us a smile, "Locally Crafted Beer - 1 mile ahead"

Small stream crossing at New Year's Creek

On the doubletrack ski run heading for the finish


I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk).  

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