For the past week, I have been hanging out near Anchorage in a town called Girdwood. Girdwood is best known for being home to Alyeska Ski Resort which is currently open for summer time mtb’ing. I had planned on bringing my personal bike from the early planning stages of this trip, but my Thule travel case just wouldn’t hold my bike comfortably enough for me to turn it over to the hands of careless airline workers.
I opted to rent a Kona Entourage for a day of shuttle assisted riding and had a blast! The trails were in amazing shape compared to the mid-summer dust bowls that make up a lot of trails that I regularly ride in Northern, CA. Girdwood is typically very rainy this time of year, but the grey clouds stayed at bay and the weather could not have been better!
above: Our place was just 3 blocks from Alyeska. We saw this guy while we were walking over to the day lodge to get set-up for the day. Moose have the reputation for being nasty and charging at humans. Most of the locals would much prefer to run into a black bear.
below: A flower shot near the Winner Creek trail head.
above: All geared up for the day in my rental gear.
below: The view from the top of chair 3, which is the shorter of the 2 chairs they have operating this summer. This was a popular chair for those wanting to session the jump park at the bottom of this lift.
below: Coming down some of the easier blue runs (medium difficulty runs) off chair 3.
above: Me going not-so-big off some small jumps running parallel to a fire road. In my defense, I wasn’t quite use to the balance of the bike I was on, and I have very little experience with jumps that ramp up at the very end of them. I’m more of a fan of drops.
below: The view from the Waterfall trail which is at the top of Ted’s Express lift – the highest life they have operating this summer.
above: This was one of my favorite trails I rode off chair lift #3. Although a little short, it offered some milder jumps and nicely built berms.
below: Click on these 2 panoramic views to see them full size. The first one shows the top area of Ted’s Express. The second one shows you how lush the terrain is. This part of Alaska is a rain forest.
below: I did get a chance to visit Moose’s Tooth on several occasions. The pizza was ridiculously good and the beer (provided by Broken Tooth Brewing) was impressive as well. The Fairweather IPA and Hard Apple Ale stood out from the tastings.
below: Here are some pictures of some random riders hitting the jump park with style and skills!