Alyeska at a Glance
By Shannon Markley
Special to the Glacier City Gazette
Telepalooza is back with a vengeance at Alyeska Resort. This 3-day long festival will be filled with clinics, races, events, prizes, demos, raffles, live music and endless fun. The festival will run Friday to Sunday, February 26 – 28, 2016. Also known as The Jeff Nissman Memorial Telemark Festival, which honors Jeff Nissman, a long-time forecaster with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC) who passed away in a work related accident. This weekend celebrates Jeff and the telemark community.
Each day of the festival will kick off with new events which are all free and open to everyone of all levels with pre-registration. The theme for this year’s festival is “Where the Wild Things Are” competitors are encouraged, and in some cases required to dress up as a favorite beastly animal or character from the timeless children’s book. Telepalooza events include the North Face Vertical Challenge, an event that has competitors lapping Alyeska’s North Face as many times as possible in an eight-hour period. The Rapalooza, a downhill slalom with an uphill skate and spiral finish kicks off day two. The popular Glacier Bowl Rondy-Rally Race starts Sunday followed by the King & Queen of the Hill Dual Slalom Race Sunday afternoon.
Not a telemark skier? Events like the North Face Vertical Challenge and Uphill/Downhill are also open to alpine tour and split-board competitors. Ice Bug winter running shoes will be hosting a 5k run from the hotel to the Sitzmark Bar & Grill Sunday afternoon for the running community. Prizes will be awarded each night for the top placing athletes in each event, and a costume contest will also take place for the best “Wild Thing” competing on the mountain. Once prizes have been given out to the top performers, The Sitzmark Bar and Grill will be hosting free live music Friday and Saturday night by The Hope Social Club and Steve Norwood on Sunday night.
Speaking of live music, you guys are really in for a treat come March 3rd, 4th and 5th when The David Nelson Band makes their first appearance on the Sitz stage. Their broad musical style spans the Almost Acoustic style that Nelson played with Jerry Garcia, through roots rock n’ roll and country-rock, to full blown psychedelic, jazz tinged space jams. This rocking band of seasoned musicians perform David’s compositions (some co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter), select covers, and several Grateful Dead songs. These stylistic elements, combined with plenty of spontaneous free form improvisation, create a sound that is uniquely David Nelson Band.
On a different artistic level, the Sitzmark is hosting another Paint Nite which was a HUGE hit earlier this month! Such a huge hit in fact, that we have invited Paint Nite back for two more sessions this season. Grab your friends and IDs for this night full of paint and pints as Paint Nite will be back to take over the Sitz at 7pm on Wednesday, March 2nd. Paint, canvas, brushes, smocks, and an instructor are provided. Have some laughs, some drinks, and at the end of the night you can take home your own masterpiece! This event sold out quickly, so be sure to go online to www.PaintNite.com to order your tickets today and be sure to use discount code Denali20 to get $20.00 off.