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As November turns into December we are all reminded that it’s the most wonderful time of year once again…WINTER! During the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas there is a lot to do; between traveling, visiting friends and family, cooking, squeezing in some work here and there and of course skiing ...Read More
Kent “want to pet my puppy?” May With marriage out of the way Kent is following the age old stall tactic of delaying having kids by just getting a dog instead. He won the kids vs. dog argument with the astute observation that no infant has ever successfully rescued anyone ...Read More
Thursday, November 28 is going to be a busy day at Alyeska. Not only is it OPENING DAY for the ski resort, but lots of people also choose to skip the kitchen stress and celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday with us. The Pond Café Thanksgiving Buffet is sold out for all ...Read More
Meet our athletes, some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the world. From big mountain skiing to boarder-cross, the athletes below call Alyeska home and we proudly support their efforts.
Callan was raised in the rural indigenous village of Aleknagik, on the Bering Sea coast of Alaska’s Wood-Tikchik State Park. A place only accessible by boat or plane, Aleknagik is over 300 miles away from any major road systems. The remoteness of these rural villiages leave intact a strong and vibrant indigenous culture, in which daily life is made possible by subsiding almost entirely from the land. In this way, Callan’s childhood was a world much different from the modern outside world she would later become accustomed to.
Her roots in snowboarding began on the mountains surrounding her home, traveling by snowmobile as far as family would take her and following her brother's lead to the summits. Callan is the first Indigenous Alaskan to represent the United States of America in Olympic competition and the only known indigenous Alaskan to be a part of any U.S National Team.
In 2000, her family moved to Girdwood, Alaska, home of Alyeska Resort. After a lifetime of hiking, she embraced the ski resort lifestyle and rode the Alyeska Resort chairlifts nearly every day of the year. She began racing locally on the weekends and a love for free-riding made snowboardcross an instant favorite.
After distinguished results in national competitions and World Junior Championships, 2006 brought her a berth on the United States Snowboard Team. She exploded on the scene, landing on the podium in her first World Cup competition and achieved a double title of U.S. National Champion and U.S. Junior National Champion. 2008 brought her the winning title of Jeep King of the Mountain World Professional Snowboard Tour Champion. After an ACL tear in 2009, she came back to earn a spot on the 2010 Olympic Team. She backed up her Olympic season with some killer results in 2011, including a silver medal at the X Games and the second World Cup podium of her career in Switzerland with a second place. She finished the 2011 season ranked 5th in the World. The 2012 season marks her sixth year as a World Cup elite-level athlete representing the United States.
Determined to be able to commit to full-time training and competition, she worked hard to graduate from high school at Pacific Northern Academy in three years. Callan has involved herself extensively in community service projects and speaks publicly at events and schools year round. She works to promote opportunities and empowerment in the indigenous community and in woman’s athletics.
Callan’s history in the most remote of the Alaskan backcountry and big mountain riding has laid the foundation of her snowboarding. Landing on the podium in freeride events such as The North Face Masters and The World Heli Challenge has propelled her to continuing success in the freeride world as well as boardercross.
Over the last decade, Alaskan Kikkan Randall has slowly and methodically built a career as the best U.S. women’s cross country skier in history. The 2012 season was a benchmark for Randall as she parlayed five World Cup podiums, including two wins, into the World Cup sprint title – a first for an American woman. She also dramatically upped the ante in both her classic and distance skiing to finish fifth overall. A three-time Olympian, Randall broke through with a historic win in Rybinsk, Russia in 2007. Using that as a base, she moved up through the ranks finishing third in the season-long sprint battle in 2011 before mounting a strong campaign from the opening race last season to take the title. She capped the season with her 17th U.S. title. Looking ahead to 2013, Randall is focused medals at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, as well as improving on her record 10th place finish in the grueling Tour de Ski stage race and moving up in the World Cup overall. She’ll also have an opportunity to test the new tracks for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, where the sprint will play to her favored freestyle technique.
• 2013 World Champion (ladies team sprint with Jessie Diggins)
• 2012 World Cup Overall Sprint Champion
• 2010 Winter Olympics - Best American women's finish (8th place women's sprint)
• 2009 World Championship Silver Medalist (women's sprint)
• 10 World Cup Victories
• 20 World Cup Podiums
• 4-time Olympic Top Tens
• 17-time US National Champion
• 3-time Olympian
Elyse grew up skiing at Alyeska Resort, alpine ski racing with the Alyeska Ski Team while finding a passion for big mountain skiing. After moving on from ski racing and graduating from the University of Nevada Reno with a degree in International Studies, she decided to pursue a career in professional skiing.
To help establish herself in the professional ski world, Elyse has competed in Freeride Competition events for the past three seasons and has won the majority of events she has entered. She won the title of 2008 Freeride World Champion and in 2009 was voted ‘Best Female Line of the FWT’. Moving forward in her career, Elyse plans to pursue a bigger presence in ski films. She filmed with Rage Films in 2008 and can be seen in Down Days and Such As Life. She says, "I am a native Girdwood freeskier who is lucky enough to call skiing my job. At this point, I am very happy with what I have accomplished and am thrilled to continue on my exciting journey of skiing."
Some of Elyse's recent accomplishments include:
1st Place - FWT Stop #2 Squaw Valley, USA
3rd Place - FWT Stop #3 Tignes, France
Awarded FWT 'Rider's Choice Female Line of the Year'
1st Overall - Freeride World Tour
1st Place - FWT Stop #2 Sochi, Russia
1st Place - FWT Stop #3 Tignes, France
1st Place - FWT Stop #4 Verbier, Switzerland
(the infamous Verbier Xtreme)
1st Place - IFSA's US Freeskiing Open Squaw Valley USA, CA
Alyeska Resort athlete Jason Scheben was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and grew up skiing and racing at Alyeska Resort. After one year of racing at the collegiate level for Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison/Crested Butte, he decided to focus primarily on big mountain freeskiing and the backcountry. He spent six seasons in Crested Butte, CO and five seasons in Snowbird, UT, eventually making his way back home to Alaska.
His goal for the resort and other sponsors is to market Alyeska and products endorsed by way of photos in major winter publications. He has been published in POWDER, SKIING, BACKCOUNTRY, ALASKA MAGAZINE, COAST, FREEZE, and Alyeska’s marketing sources including signature images in print ads and on the new website. This is Jason’s 5th consecutive sponsorship with Alyeska and his constant evolving marketing has created a successful relationship with the resort and our mission statement. He is currently sponsored by industry leaders 4FRNT Skis and Bindings, Full-Tilt Boots, Oakley Eyewear and Outerwear, Discrete, Dynafit and Alyeska Resort.
Learn more about Jason
Alyeska Resort athlete Clint Butler is a Girdwood local. He spent five seasons at Snowbird Utah . His home keeps him close to Turnagain Pass and Alyeska, two of the best playgrounds on Earth. His passion is shown in the picture’s featured in Alyeska ad’s among others that can be found in publications in major ski magazines. He is thankful for the support from Alyeska, being treated well by Oakley over the years, and this year by 4FRNT. His drive to be creative and ski the technical lines offered at Alyeska motivates him to be on the mountain most days.
Alyeska Resort athlete, Zach Halverson, grew up skiing Alyeska nearly every winter day. His formal training was as a Mighty Mite skier, Junior team racer, and Freeride team member. Mostly though, his “training” came in the form of freeskiing laps with friends, day after day. He turned that feeling of freedom into competitive success on the Junior Freeskiing Tour (JFT), a series of Big Mountain skiing competitions held throughout North America. In 2011, when Zach was 17, he won the overall tour title. He is also a two-time event winner on the JFT, winning at Stevens Pass, Washington, and Kirkwood, California. When he was 17, Powder Magazine ranked him the 10th best skier in the world under the age of 18.
Zach now shares his joy of skiing through films and photographs in national magazines. He was part of a team that won the prestigious Eye of the Condor film and photo contest in La Parva, Chile (http://vimeo.com/27315938). He also filmed two segments for ESPN, highlighting skiing in southcentral Alaska (http://vimeo.com/38119376 and http://vimeo.com/40367230). In a recent Powder magazine article showcasing Alyeska Resort, Zach had a spectacular, two page photo jumping off Lolo’s at sunset. He still occasionally competes in Big Mountain competitions, in the adult league now. He was 2nd place at the Red Bull “Wrangle the Chute” contest in Kicking Horse, British Columbia, 15th in the Freeskiing World Tour (FWT) event at the Argentine National championships, and 17th at the FWT event at the Chilean National championships.
Zach’s adventurous spirit extends beyond skiing too. He has climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa, the Grand Teton in Wyoming, and numerous peaks in the Chugach mountains. He is a four time age-group winner at the Mt Marathon race in Seward, AK. He’s completed a three month adventure thru the Amazon Rainforest including a 30-day canoe trip in the Amazon basin, and a 28-day backpacking trek in the high cerrado of Brazil (look it up). In the summer, he is a deckhand on a purse seiner in Prince William Sound. Zach says, “The Chugach Mountains are a skiers paradise. The lift served terrain at Alyeska is as good as most backcountry areas around the world. Get out and ski it - snow, sleet, rain, or shine and you can ski anything and anywhere.” Zach is sponsored by Alyeska Resort, Blizzard skis, Tecnica boots, Smith Optics, Soul Poles, and Purplejumpsuit Apparel.
Kieffer spent his childhood chasing his older brothers on skis down the mountain at Mt. Alyeska. Now it’s Kieffer whom others are trying to catch. In 2010 Kieffer was named to the U.S. Alpine Development Team. He is the first Alaskan to be named to the Team since 2001. Kieffer learned how to carve his turns as a toddler on the slopes of Alyeska, starting at the Alyeska Ski School at age 2, and skiing in front of his dad in a harness down the face of Mt. Alyeska. He started racing at age 6 with the Alyeska Mighty Mites, and continued through the Alyeska Ski Club Junior race program. He attended Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont for his junior and senior years of high school. Kieffer first represented the United States in international competition at the Whistler Cup as a 12 year old, competing against skiers from 20 nations. In 2007, while a member of the Alyeska Race Team, he competed at the 47th annual Trofeo Topolino in Italy, the alpine world championship for children age 14 and under, where he won gold and silver medals. In 2010 and 2011, he represented his country at World Junior Alpine Championships, in Chamonix, France and Crans Montana, Switzerland, respectively. When he is not skiing with the U.S. Team, Kieffer attends Dartmouth College.
Icy courses in the east are OK when it comes to racing, but they’re not much good for off-piste skiing. For Kieffer racing is only part of the picture. Skiing the terrain and powder at Alyeska is a necessary part of skiing and life. Kieffer enjoys training with the Alyeska Ski Club when he’s home, and especially likes the early rides on speed skis. Every holiday season he clicks into his race skis and competes in the Alyeska Coca Cola Classics with his fellow Alaskans. Kieffer is sponsored by Rossignol Skis, Lange Boots, Shred Optics, Slytech Protection, Komperdell Poles, Mountain Tees and the US Ski Team.
Born and raised in Anchorage, AK, Rosie is a 16 year old honor student at South Anchorage High School. She began snowboarding at the age of 3 and started competing for the Big Alaska Series at 13. Currently riding for Chugach Alaska Snowboard Team, Rosie has earned her spot on the podium this year with gold medals in both Giant Slalom and Boarder Cross. Her goals are to be competitive in the Race to the Cup, Rev Tours and USASA nationals and eventually become a U.S. Olympian. Read Rosie's blog >
Competition Experience and Results
2012/2013 Boardercross Season Accomplishments
• USSA Nationally Ranked 8th
• Ranked 2nd among U.S. Juniors
2012-2013 Boardercross Revolution Tour, Sun Valley Idaho - 1st
2012-2013 Boardercross USASA Nationals, Copper Mtn - 3rd
2012-2013 Bank Slalom, Alyeska - 2nd
I’m Chanc’ Deschamps-Prescott. I am a competitive skier in the 15-18 year old age group on the IFSA and Junior Freeskiing Tour (JFT). This is my final year on the IFSA/JFT tour. I also compete in skiercross for USSA and USASA. This year I want to do the Bonzai tour as well. I love skiing because of that feeling you get when you’ve just landed a new trick or stomped a cliff landing. Also, just that floating feeling you get in powder. Skiing is a super important part of my life because it is something I’ve been doing since I was 18 months old. The past two years I’ve been doing more backcountry skiing to extend my season up in Alaska. My goal is to eventually compete as a top 5 athletes on the Freeski World Tour (FWT).
I was born in Girdwood, Alaska and have lived there all of my life. Four seasons ago I moved to Tahoe for the winters in order to be closer to my events. When I was young I started out as an Alpine racer and then got into freestyle. This helped me become a successful competitor in skiercross where I have been National Champion 3 times. I started competing on the JFT tour after moving to Squaw Valley, and did well from the start thanks to my awesome coaches Jason Dobbs, Kevin O’meara and Aaron McGovern.
My first year in Tahoe I won the 2009-10 Tahoe Junior Freeskiing Tour in the 12-14 age group. In 2010-11 I finished 4th in the National JFT 12-14 age group. Then in the 2011-2012 season I stepped up to the older age group in both tours and did really well. I was the 8th overall athlete on the JFT, and I won the Tahoe Junior Freeski Tour against many of the same athletes. This last year I moved to Utah where I joined the Snowbird Freeski Team and I skied with coaches Rob and Nick Greener. I had a really great year with them getting a second at the Regional competition in Grand Targhee, WY and winning the money line award at Crystal mountain where I skied half of my run on one ski after my ski unexpectedly came off. Also, I acquired an 8th at the IFSA Squaw Valley competition.
This season my mom and I chose to move back to Squaw Valley. I’m super stoked to go back to Tahoe. Being my last year on the junior tour I want to make it my best season yet. Last year after spending a portion of my time at Park City I’m excited to take some of my park experience into the big mountain competition. I’m stoked to have one last year competing with all of my peers before I head onto the FWT.
My 2012/2013 sponsors were Alyeska Resort, Dynastar/Look/Lange, Olympics Bootworks, and Sessions outerwear. I feel I earned these sponsorships because of my commitment and dedication to skiing, and my attitude.
Squaw Valley IFSA: 8th place
Grand Targhee Regional: 2nd place
Crystal Mountain IFSA: Money line award
Mike "Mikey" Leake recently moved to Alaska to be with his fiancée, Michelle, and ski the great AK mountains that he has grown to love and he is proud to call the Chugach home and Alyeska his home resort. Until this past summer, Mike spent most of his life in the Teton Valley region of southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming, with a few years spent in the Tahoe area. Both Tahoe and the Tetons have been essential in his progression as a big mountain skier, and now they have proven to be meaningful stepping stones in his migration to the big mountains of Alaska.
Over the past 14 years Mike has been fortunate to have the opportunity to film and shoot with some amazing companies and people, as well as compete on the Freeskiing World Tour on-and-off for 10 years. He has transitioned to judging various events and is an advisory board member with the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association (IFSA). With AK as a home base, Mike has begun to include more expedition-oriented adventures to his resume and goals and has also had the opportunity to work in the ski industry as a videographer, associate producer, guide, marketing consultant, team manager, coach, event coordinator, event judge and a professional ski patroller.
Liam Ortega began his Olympic dream when he first started playing hockey at the age of seven. Raised by his mother in Alaska, Liam quickly aquired the technical skills to seriously pursue his dreams. After early competitive success, a terrifying on-ice crash a year before the 2010 Olympic trials left Liam in a coma on life support and ICU for a week. The road to recovery was a long one, but this insurmountable adversity turned into a speed bump with the fire it lit within him. A National Champion and American Cup Champion speedskater, Liam's dream is to become the first Alaskan named to the U.S. Olympic speedskating team in 2014.
Off the ice, Liam founded the non-profit Driven to Move with it’s mission inspire youth to greatness by teaching goal-setting and healthy lifestyles to youth in schools. He also organizes annual community events including THE RUCKUS in THE MUCKUS and a golf tournament benefiting Special Olympics of the Tanana Valley.
Hunter Keffalos, 15, has lived in Anchorage his entire life. He is currently a sophomore at South High, and he’s thrilled that Alyeska is his home resort. Hunter’s passion is big mountain freeskiing, and his participation in the sport reached new heights the past few seasons.
Hunter competes on the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association’s (IFSA) North American event circuit. The circuit allows Hunter to ski with other big mountain freeskiers on the most difficult inbounds terrain in the western U.S. and Canada. Hunter ended last season tied-for-2nd in the Pacific Northwest Regional Division and ranked 38th (Top 13%) in all of North America. In 7 competitions, Hunter has been on the podium 3 times.
Hunter has been mentally and physically preparing for this season’s competitions since making his last turns in Alaska’s backcountry in mid-May. The new season begins in January in Utah, and Hunter’s 2014 season goals are:
Hunter is also sponsored by Rossignol, GCI, SkiAK, Glacier City Realty and Flylow Gear.
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