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The word Alaska is derived from the ancient Aleut word “Alyeska,” meaning the Great Land.
The Hotel Alyeska is nestled in the Chugach Mountains of Southcentral Alaska in the resort community of Girdwood, about 35 miles southeast of the city of Anchorage. This eight-story year-round resort has 304 guest rooms and many tourists and locals alike can attest to the rejuvenating qualities of spending the night in this luxurious lodge.
The land base for the ski slopes was purchased in 1954 and during the early 1960s the Alyeska Ski Resort was developed. The annual snowfall at the summit of the mountain is 650 inches (54 feet, 16.5 meters). The deep snowpack along with 76 ski runs and 2500 feet of lift-served vertical rise makes this a world-class ski area, not to mention the birds-eye view of glacier-carved valleys and Cook Inlet's Turnagain Arm.
It was 3 am on November 16, 2013 when I took this shot of “Alyeska Aglow.” It's a 2-second exposure using a wide-angle lens on a 36 megapixel full-frame body and I am astounded at the detail in the buildings. The lodge lighting in the foreground and a nearly full moon high and to the left created a beautiful ambience. The touch of green in the sky is the aurora joining in on the aglow.