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Outdoors/Adventure

Alyeska Resort closes mountain operations amid ‘severe weather’

Alyeska Resort in Girdwood shut down mountain operations for a second day in a row Friday, canceling snowboarding and skiing because of “severe weather" as avalanche danger in the area remains high.

“All chairlifts and the tram are closed for all skiing and riding," the resort’s online snow report said Friday. "We expect to reopen tomorrow morning.”

Terrain parks are also closed, the resort said.

Ben Napolitano, Alyeska Resort marketing director, called it a “stormy, windy day here in Girdwood."

“The trees are rocking back and forth” and it was raining outside his office at the mountain’s base, he said.

The temperatures were 40 at the base and 30 degrees midmountain and higher. The resort also closed for the day Thursday as the “big storm” rolled in, he said.

The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center warned Friday that avalanche danger remains high at all elevations because of “heavy rain, above freezing temperatures and strong wind in Turnagain Pass, Girdwood, and Portage."

“Natural wet slab avalanches are likely below 3,000 feet,” the center said on its website. “In the alpine, natural storm slabs two feet deep or more are also likely today and have the potential to step down into a very deep and dangerous avalanche.”

“Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended,” the center says in bolder letters.

The resort expects to reopen Saturday, its post said.

The hotel and restaurant venues at the mountain base remain open, and the forecast looks great for sunny, spring skiing next week, Napolitano said.

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