After a few years of intermittent snow, this winter has proven to be a skier’s friend. Over the holiday weekend I went with a few young friends to explore the historical mine-turned ski area. Skiing Indepence Mine in Hatcher Pass is a fun workout for everyone.
“Whee, whoopie and watch out!” exclaimed the young skiers flying down the Independence Mine Trail. They were trying out the new skies that Santa brought them for Christmas. Having skied on the flatter trails near their home, the young skiers were eager to get out and enjoy the wide open spaces of Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass.
This ski area has it all for the intermediate skier- sloping hills, historical sites, and a little bit of flat skiing. The tantalizing views from around the mine of the Matanuska Valley make you realize what a remarkable existence it must have been for the 250 individuals who called the mine home at the peak of production in the 1940’s.
Relax in the Peace of the Old Buildings While Skiing Independence Mine
After skiing up the hill to the old buildings, it was so peaceful resting in the Independence Mine Bowl. Thoughts of yesteryear face you everywhere from the buildings painted in silver with red trim along the ski trails.
We relaxed a bit and enjoyed a snack amidst the peace and quiet of the area. Then it was time to strap on the backpacks, put on the gloves, and continue skiing around the loops at the Mine. We ventured up Sochi Hill to get a better look at the entrance of the gold mine. Soon it was time to swish and swoosh away, enjoying gliding down the hills.
The Downhill Fun
The downhill part is like the whipped cream and cherry on top of the sundae! We flew down the road back to parking lot. We tucked our arms into our sides, bent our knees and really let ourselves fly down the hill, screeching “Whoopie!” all the way down! This was an afternoon of skiing to be remembered!
It was agreed that Independence Mine proved to be a cross-country destination to be repeated.