Hilltop vs. Alyeska

The two main places to enjoy downhill skiing or snowboarding in Alaska are Hilltop, located right outside of Anchorage, and the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, about 50 minutes from Anchorage. They are two very different locations with different things to offer, resulting in many strongly preferring one over the other. Many students from Dimond High love to visit these places in the winter and spend their days on the lifts finished off by a nice hot chocolate. Most of the time students stay the night at Alyeska and make a trip of it, while Hilltop is usually a day destination. Senior Kerrick Eagle states that he prefers Alyeska to Hilltop because “it is small and boring and Alyeska has better chairs and snow”. Even though Alyeska is more crowded most of the time, which causes problems on the slope and in food lines, Kerrick says, “the crowds don’t cause a problem because I am really good and ski around them, and the food is worth the wait at Alyeska and is much better than the food at Hilltop”. Alyeska Resort is the larger of the two by far with various lifts and a whole ski town full of good places to eat right at the bottom. Seeing that it is the larger of the two, it draws more skilled skiers while more beginner skiers or snowboarders will be glad with the small hills of Hilltop. Dimond math teacher Nate Normandin, who coaches Dimond’s Cross-Country Ski team, agrees, saying that “Alyeska is an actual mountain instead of a hill so obviously more are going to favor it, but Hilltop is definitely better for beginners. It’s not as easy to get lost on”. Megan Parish, who is a very talented skier who has been on these mountains since she was about two, is surprisingly indecisive about which mountain is the better one. She likes doing tricks, so she say’s that “Hilltop has better par features like small hills and boxes, but Alyeska has much better terrain.” Sophomore Abby Stahl points out that “Alyeska has cliffs you can drop that makes it more fun and extreme. If you are a park rat you would probably prefer Hilltop to Alyeska.”