Public welcomed on summit of Max's Mountain at last

Anchorage Daily NewsJanuary 21, 2012 

Turnagain Arm is seen from the summit of Max's Mountain at Alyeska Resort near Girdwood Jan. 21, 2012.

PHOTO BY LUKE SMITH

For the first time ever in the ski area's history, Alyeska Resort opened Max's Mountain to the public on Saturday from the peak's summit.

Max's, at 3,302 feet, comprises the eastern edge of the resort's in-bounds area. The bottom third or so of the mountain is generally accessible via a long traverse, and the summit has been open before for competitions and special photo shoots but never for regular day-pass holders, Alyeska said.

That changed Saturday morning.

Members of the resort's ski patrol put a boot trail up the steep headwall earlier in the week and took a close look at conditions on Max's, said Alyeska marketing manager Amy Quesenberry. They decided it was safe enough for the historic opening Saturday, she said.

Skiers and snowboarders were required to have an avalanche beacon and identification: Nobody 17 or younger was allowed without parental consent.

The temperature Saturday ranged from the low teens up high to just below zero at the mountain's base. Alyeska reports 338 inches of snow for the season.

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