Eaglecrest Day celebrates end of summer

 No termination dust has been seen yet in Juneau, but once  fall rains hit, winter seems close.

In recognition of the end of summer, Eaglecrest will celebrate the annual Discover Eaglecrest Day on Saturday.

The ski area is owned and operated by the City and Borough of Juneau.  Surveys indicate about a third of Juneau households have a skier or snowboarder that use Eaglecrest annually.

Eaglecrest Learning Center

Architect’s rendering of the proposed Eaglecrest Learning Center.

Unlike ski areas on a road system that get most of their revenue from daily ticket sales, the small Juneau area receives about 50 percent of winter revenue from season passes.  Eaglecrest Day is a time to buy passes, rent lockers, see plans for the new Eaglecrest Learning Center, enjoy fall mountain colors, ride a chairlift, hike or bike the trails.  This is the fifth year for the event.

For those who seldom visit the mountain, fall is a good time to come up.

There’s no snow on the road.” 

 Jeffra Clough is director of Sales, Marketing and the Snowsports School.

“If somebody is feeling a little bit intimidated by our road, they may be little less intimidated if they’re able to drive up it during the fall,” she says.

Never ridden a chairlift? Take a free ride up the Porcupine Chair.

“For some people that may be their first experience riding a chair lift and that might instill a desire to come back in the winter and learn how to ski or snowboard,” Clough says.

Mountain biking

Juneau Freewheelers’ Mountain Bike Tour of Eaglecrest begins Friday with a time trial. The start time is 6 p.m. at the Fish Creek bridge crossing by Treadwell Ditch. The two-mile version ends at the top of Porcupine Chair Lift.

The Hill Climb begins Saturday at 10:30 a.m., at the base of the mountain.

“They’ll start at the bottom  of Hooter and the riders that want to do a one-mile hill climb will ride to the bottom of the Black Bear chair,” Clough says. “Those that are really tough that want to do the two-mile hill climb will ride to the top of the Ptarmigan chair.”

Hooter to Black Bear is an elevation gain of about 460 feet.  The elevation gain to the top of Ptarmigan is about 1,400 feet.

The Mountain Bike Tour of Eaglecrest ends with the Criterium – a one or two-mile loop of the Eaglecrest parking lot.

The Zip Line is running for Eaglecrest Day, Discovery Southeast is holding the Decomposition Decathlon (you’ll want to enter the Fungus Cap Fling), and there’s a beer garden and BBQ.

Wishing for snow

At the top of every hour, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Juneau Public Library’s Beth Wiegel will be reading winter stories to kids.

Beth Weigel, of the Juneau Public Library, will be reading stories about winter during Discover Eaglecrest Day. Children who bring their library card will be able to check out books.

Wiegel is also a ski instructor, who like  this reporter and Anna in the story “Anna’s Wish,”  is wishing for a snowy winter in Juneau’s mountains.

“‘Oh little snow horse, thought Anna, ‘I wish, I wish, I wish.’  Harder than she had ever wished for anything, Anna wished for snow.  Like tiny stars her wishes floated up into the sky and froze, then slowly they began to fall back down to earth.”  (From “Anna’s Wish” by Bruno Hachler, illustrated by Friederike Rave.)

Discover Eaglecrest Day is Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to  3 p.m.

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