Rain drizzled down at Alyeska Resort on Monday afternoon, putting a further damper on what has so far shaped up as the ski year from hell. Though it was Martin Luther King Day -- a national holiday -- the resort was far from crowded. There were none of the lift lines of busy days, even though lift capacity at the resort remains down with the 60-passenger Aerial Tram still of commission.
One of the tram cars was left impaled on a tower after a New Year's Eve accident. It had to be cut free and is still undergoing repairs. The accident, in which injuries were fortunately minor, was in keeping with what has been a tough winter for the state's biggest ski resort.
Coming off a year of record snowfall, Alyeska is witnessing a ski and snowboarding season in which the snow gods seem to be screaming, "We hate you!''
Consider this: Almost halfway through its Nov. 1-to-April 30 ski season, with the snowiest part of winter already behind, Alyeska has witnessed only 392 inches of snow -- and some of that has washed away.
Historically, 62 percent of the winter precipitation in Girdwood falls by Jan. 30. If historical trends hold true, the resort is on track to end the year with 632 inches of snowfall. That's 346 inches, or about 29 feet, less than last year. ...