Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano Casts Doubt on Alpine Championships

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on March 23, 2009 1:30 pm

999 out of 1000 times, if something white is falling from the sky, this is good news for ski resorts.  But, this is not one of those times.  The recent eruption of Redoubt volcano has made folks at Alyeska Resort a bit nervous, as this week marks the Alaska resort’s biggest event of the year, serving as host of the U.S. Alpine Championships.  Ash does not make for good snow conditions, nor breathing conditions, but thankfully, Redoubt’s ash has taken a different path.  As long as the ash continues to blow north, all should be OK for the end of season alpine nationals.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, begins two days of downhill training for both the men and women.  The U.S. Alpine Championships will continue through Tuesday, March 31st. 

Jason Lott of Alyeska Resort told The Ski Channel, "The ash is still going north.  We’ve dodged the early five blasts.  Talkeetna, it’s hitting up there near Fairbanks.  It could change, but so far, all’s good.  No news is good news.  We just got 18-19 inches of new snow over the past two days.  Perfect spring conditions.  And we have some big events coming up, besides the Alpine Championships: Telepalooza World Telemark Freesking Competition and the Subaru Freeskiing World Championships.  It’s obviously unexpected, but so far, we’re doing fine.  Out here you can’t smell it or see it."

photo: Cyrus Read & the Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey

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