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Concierge.com's insider take:
Alaska has a lot of mountains and a lot of snow. Oddly, that doesn't add up to a whole lot of places to ski. Alaska does, however, have the greatest heli-skiing in the world. If you have the skills, head for the Chugach Range, outside of Valdez. There are more than 2,500 square miles of untouched powder that, thanks to the proximity of the ocean, holds together better than inland powder, making it a lot safer. Some of the heli-ski operators, such as Valdez Heli-Ski Guides, take on runs of more than 5,000 vertical feet…no wonder that the world extreme ski championships have been held here.
Up to 1,000 inches of snow fall each season at Alyeska Resort, located about 40 miles south of Anchorage. You can ski the bowl, test your knee strength on the mogul fields, or take the easier runs through the trees. And don't stop when the sun goes down: More than 2,000 of Mount Alyeska's 2,500 vertical feet are lit.
Eaglecrest, on Douglas Island, across the Gastineau Channel from Juneau, has 31 runs, 1,400 vertical feet, and an average snowfall of around 200 inches. For cross-country enthusiasts, both Eaglecrest and Alyeska have groomed trails. Anchorage also has miles and miles of groomed trails. Fairbanks has more than a dozen groomed trails, plus endless opportunities in the wild beyond. On any cross-country ski trip in Alaska, stay out of the way of moose, and know and use all safety precautions.—Edward Readicker-Henderson
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