By now, I’m sure you’ve heard all about this winter being the second-snowiest in recorded history (516”). What a season, and it ended with a fantastic bonus weekend full of endless sun, warm temperatures, and incredible spring snow!
I want to personally thank each and every employee that has helped make this winter possible. Working at Eaglecrest is not easy, especially when it snows day after day with wind drifts, rime ice, and shoveling galore! Pay and ski time can be limited, which makes the smiling faces and words of encouragement from our loyal guests even more valuable as staff work diligently to get the mountain open on time even in the harshest of conditions. It always amazes me what we are able to accomplish with such a small staff; it is all passion and dedication. Thank you, Eaglecrest staff for showing up and putting in the work!
I also want to thank the pass holders and guests for their support and cooperation. It has been a different year up here, but it’s been safe and a whole lot of fun with more powder days than I can count. We always try to be flexible and give the powder to the people. It’s now been two impressive winters in a row with great natural snowfall to the base of the mountain. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back for next season!
We have a laundry list of offseason projects planned and in the works to make Eaglecrest even better! Foremost, the Eaglecrest Foundation is mounting a fundraising campaign for the installation of a new snowmaking pipeline to replace our over 40-year-old and badly corroded supply line from Cropley Lake. In each of the last three winters, snowmaking improvements have helped Eaglecrest open earlier, stay open longer, and bridge the snowfall gap between the middle and lower mountain. No matter what Mother Nature might toss our direction, we will be ready with snow on the ground.
The trail crew will be working on tons of alpine trail improvements all over the main mountain and are adding a new ski trail on Porcupine. We are also hardening sections of the lower Nordic trails, which will provide earlier snow grooming opportunities. For summer users, we’ll be improving hiking trails and completing the new mountain bike trail to the top of the Hooter Chairlift. The Lift Maintenance team will be putting extra focus into some larger preventative maintenance projects on the Ptarmigan, Eaglecrest’s top-to-bottom chairlift. A haul rope splice will be a cool one to follow!
Long-range planning will continue throughout the summer with the Mayor’s Eaglecrest Summer Development Taskforce reconvening soon. The one thing that COVID 19 has taught us all is the importance of diversification, and being nimble and proactive enough to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Thankfully, federal assistance for the CBJ allowed full funding for Eaglecrest’s upcoming fiscal year, for which we are greatly appreciative!
The financial hardships of losing the bulk of our summer visitor industry for a second summer are still very real. I look forward to open collaboration with the assembly, Juneau community, and Eaglecrest users on ways that Eaglecrest can stay financially viable, raise the capital needed for continued infrastructure upgrades, pay our valuable staff a living wage, and ensure a long prosperous future of skiing and snowboarding at one of Alaska’s truly special winter playgrounds.
Thanks again for a great winter!