Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska

Above: Bird's eye view of Alyeska Prince Hotel
.

Right: Launching area ("Nose") and Alyeska Tramway from Launch.

Launch:      2300'
LZ:             250'
Vertical:     2050'
Horizontal: 3500' to Moose Meadow LZ (<2:1 Glide)

All stats are above sea level (MSL)

Alyeska Map (1.8MB Right Click to Save)

Site Description:

Alyeska welcomes paraglider pilots with 2000' tram rides to launch. From the top of the tram there are launches north, south, and west and good thermal potential in the afternoons. Cross-country potential is generally limited in the valley, but some XC can be boasted and top-landing Maxes Mountain to the south 1000' over launch is not uncommon. The landing at Moose Meadow to the north is just a five-minute walk back to the tram or land at the base of Tankaka lift to the south during the ski season (when ski launches or 'snow sliding devices' and leashes are mandatory).

Alaska Paragliding operates a commercial tandem paragliding operation at this resort. They are highly respected and good friends of Midnight Sun Paragliding. They can provide individual and group paragliding flights. Please contact them if your looking to share the paragliding experience or need additional information about flying this awesome site.  

Works Best When:

Alyeska is a lee-side thermal site and one of the few places to fly in southcentral Alaska with East winds. Chugach mountain tops protect Girdwood valley allowing thermal activity, though when winds turn NE, rotor conditions can be quite rowdy. Winds in nearly all directions are all flyable, though SW light winds tend to break up the valley thermals.   Often, down-valley flow off the glacier at the top of the uppermost ski lift will create 90-degree cross winds on the north and south (tower 10) launches which appear to be east winds.  Attempt this only if your launching skills are strong and the prevailing wind is not east or even northeast.  Click here for the prevailing wind direction and speed on top of Maxes Mountain and here for the top of Alyeska.

Requirements:

You will need your USHGA card with at least a novice rating, AAW membership sticker, a minimum of 75 logged flights, and a site orientation to fly at Alyeska.  Mountain staff or other pilots WILL stop you even if you hike up to fly without the AAW sticker on your USHGA card to prove you've met the qualifications. 

Potential Hazards:

  • Chair lift cables surround the launch area
  • Ground Hazards such as sharp rocks, decommissioned lift towers with large metal bolts, slippery mud and snow.
  • Trees surrounding the LZ can create mechanical turbulence and/or wind gradient
  • Girdwood airport traffic passes right over Moose Meadow LZ.  The mandatory site orientation will cover the details.
  • Keep the LZ looking natural by NOT walking directly to the bike path off the LZ.  Instead, walk out just a little east (toward the top of the tram) and through the treed area on the established trail.

Getting There from Anchorage International Airport:

East on International Airport Road

2.1 miles

South (right) on Minnesota which will gradually turn east and cross C street

4.0 miles

Continue through the C street intersection (you're now on O'Malley Rd) & Old Seward

0.9 miles

South (right) on New Seward, turn on your headlights, enjoy the Turnagain Arm view

30.7 miles

Left on Alyeska Highway at the Tesoro gas station (and State Trooper station)

2.9 miles

Mind the 30 mph speed limit, left on Alberg Ave, follow it around, turn off headlights

0.7 miles

The LZ and windsock are on your left, park in the gravel parking lot(s) below the hotel.  There is NO PARKING along the roadside.

Contacts (for mandatory site orientation):

First Name

Last Name

Home #

Work #

Cell #

Jack Brown 345-7259   830-4394

Bob

French

277-9420

694-1383

275-4389

Peter

Gautreau

254-7118

 

 

Kent

Hudson

783-2653

 

355-8704

Bill

Ross

337-7587

441-5533

441-5533

Mark

Ryan

 

754-2400

229-4641

Jake

Schlapfer

522-4359

267-1293

240-5420

Phil

Smith

222-4942

564-4897

240-8072

This site description is by no means meant to be complete.  Contact a local pilot for a briefing before flying any site and fly within your USHGA rating limits.

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