One of Eaglecrest’s main offseason projects is improving five segments of the Lower Nordic Trails to allow more consistent skiing conditions during the early season or when the snowpack is low. Mountain operations staff are hardening over 2.5 kilometers of trail, using shot rock sourced from Eaglecrest’s quarry near the Nordic parking lot. Drainage and culverts will be added as well.
The Lower Nordic Trails are classified as forested wetland or open peatland. Due to the nature of these ground conditions, it takes a very deep snowpack to support Eaglecrest’s snow grooming equipment. The boggy ground also tends to quickly erode natural snowfall during mid-winter warm spells.
A hardened rock trail bed will allow snow grooming equipment to compact the snow into a trail that can be maintained with minimal natural snowfall. The improved drainage and grading will also help shed water off the compacted snow surface, eliminating pooling water, which makes the ski trails unusable.
Many summer guests enjoy hiking the existing hardened trail section that connects with the Treadwell Ditch. These improvements will create a much larger network of trails and loops throughout the Lower Nordic Area. The map below shows the existing hardened section in yellow and the project sections in white.
Please watch out for heavy machinery and staff when visiting the mountain. This project is permitted by the Army Corp of Engineers and Alaska DEC.