Above: Bird's eye view of Alyeska Prince Hotel.
Right: Launching area ("Nose") and Alyeska Tramway from Launch.
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.
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.
Getting There from Anchorage International Airport:
Contacts (for mandatory
site orientation) :
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.