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Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Area

Proposed in the 1970's, never built

Name of Ski Area: Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Area
Location: Valdez area, south side of Port Valdez, 3 miles in the Valdez Marine Terminal Highway on the north facing slope of Sugarloaf Mountain.
Type of Area: Lift serviced ski area
Dates of Operation: Proposed, never built
Who?: This ski area was proposed to the city of Valdez by Chet Simmons, John McCune and other avid local skiers that called their ranks the "Ski To Die Club".
Base/Vertical Drop:

Base: Near sea level / Vertical: ~2500'

Lifts: Proposed, never built
Facilities: Proposed, never built
History: The history behind this once proposed ski area is mentioned in the article "Can Skiing Save Valdez, Alaska", by Devon O'Neil, which appeared in the November 2011 issue of "Skiing" magazine.

Initially the City of Valdez ordered a feasibility study of this ski area.  Part of the study included building a rope tow at Thompson Pass, which was later moved to Salmonberry Ridge to the east of Valdez.  After serious consideration of this ski area the city decided to instead spend millions in public money on grain silos that they could rent out to farmers in the Delta Junction area.  The grain elevators were never used.

In 1986 a drunken 15 year old girl crashed off of a jump at Salmonberry Hill and paralyzed herself.  Her family sued the City of Valdez which ended up paying the family a large sum of money.  This lawsuit ended any remaining interest by the City of Valdez to invest funds in a local ski area operation at Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sources of Information:

Devon O'Neil (article); Peter Stahley

~  MAPS  ~

This large scale topo map shows the approximate location of the once proposed Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Area.

(click on this map to expand it)

Research Correspondence 



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