GIRDWOOD, Alaska (KTUU) — Hundreds of skiers glided down the slopes at Alyeska to usher in the New Year with the annual Torchlight Parade on Monday night.
Every year, volunteers from local ski clubs join Alyeska Resort staff to carve out a magnificent light show. 300 skiers rode the lift up to the top of Ted’s Express, each one toting a bamboo stick with a road flare attached to one end.
A giant crowd of thousands stood in anticipation as the lights began to flicker and start their descent down the mountain. When the skiers were within hearing range, the mob erupted in cheers an applause.
The burning red flares snaked gracefully in and out, carving out “s” shapes into the compact snow.
When the very last torchbearer finally made their way to the bottom, it wasn’t long until a dazzling fireworks display ignited the night sky above the resort to the collective awe of the crowd.
According to Alyeska staff, thousands of skiers visited the mountain over the holiday season. Even though the resort’s opening was delayed one week for lack of snow, powder hounds have more than made up for the lost time.