Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Hatcher Alpine Xperience (HAX) and Skeetawk?
A: HAX is the name of the non-profit, member-driven organization formed in 2015 working to bring lift-access downhill skiing, boarding and other alpine sports to Hatcher Pass, Alaska. Skeetawk is the name chosen by the HAX members, and the meaning originates from the Athabaskan word Shk’ituk’t - ‘the place where we slide down’.
Q: What is planned to be built in Phase 1?
A: Designed for Phase 1a is a Triple Chair Lift, snowcat building, and minor support buildings (ticket shelter, restrooms, a modest ski patrol shelter). The skiable area of Phase 1a will be roughly the size of Hilltop Ski Area in Anchorage, about 30 skiable acres. Designed for Phase 1b is a high speed quad, lodge, and improved parking and access facilities. The skiable area of Phase 1b will be hundreds of acres of intermediate terrain, and will reach above treeline.
Q: Where is the area to be built?
A: The area is located at mile 10.6 of the Hatcher Pass Road, on the west side of the road. The address is 13778 Palmer-Fishhook Rd, Palmer, AK 99645. This area is within the northern part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s Government Peak Recreation Area. We have a management agreement with the Borough to build and operate a ski area and are working towards a long-term lease.
Q: Will the ski area take affect the 16 mile "road runs"?
A: No. The ski area location doesn’t include any of the mile 16 “road run” area. That area is currently managed by the State of Alaska Parks.
Q: Is this a part of the Government Peak Nordic Ski Area?
A: No, that facility is on the southern aspect of Government Peak, and is accessed via Edgerton Park Road (not Hatcher Pass Road).
Q: Will HAX block all backcountry access?
A: No. HAX’s goal is to provide designated safe skin-up locations for backcountry users, which will minimize the potential conflict between backcountry and alpine skiers. We are working on getting a backcountry policy established comparable to some of the backcountry friendly ski areas in the lower 48.
Q: What’s different than past designs of Hatcher Pass ski areas?
A: HAX proposes a community ski area, not for profit, with no onsite private condos or commercial developments. Our focus is to provide community members a place to downhill ski and snowboard locally.
Q: What has been accomplished over the years to assist the project?
A: Local, state and the federal government has invested in road improvements (two lane bridge, paving, parking lot), electricity to ski area base, numerous studies including financial analysis with favorable conclusions, and a signed Federal EIS that allows development. The table has been set for an organization like HAX to accomplish Phase 1 of this long awaited winter recreation project.
Q: When will the area be built?
A: We have begun construction on the first lift (triple) during the winter of 2020 and plan to be fully operational by winter 2020- 2021. We have a lot of work and fundraising to do before the season starts, so please consider helping!
Q: How much are lift tickets going to be and will you sell season passes?
A: We are looking at a full price adult lift ticket being $39/day. Students/Seniors/Military will be $32/day. Kiddos (6-12) would be $20/day and kids 5 and under are free. Season passes will be available for approximately 10x of a lift ticket.
Q: What is the benefit of becoming a member?
A: Becoming a member is a great way to show your support to our organization. In addition to an awesome membership sticker you will receive discounts at some of our events, $5 off tickets on Sundays, and special members-only ski days.
Q: What days will you be open?
A: We plan on being open on weekends and all MSB school holidays starting in December (if snowpack allows) and going through April (also depending on snowpack!).
Q: What are your hours of operation?
A: This will vary throughout the season with the sun. 10:30am-4pm is a general estimate of when we will be open during the darkest months. We plan on having lighting eventually, which will allow us to have longer operating hours.
Q: How can I help, donate, or give feedback?
A: Glad you asked! We are always accepting donations and we have a number of sponsorships available as well. Shoot us an email at email@example.com, give us a call at (907) 746-7277 or follow these links: Donation information. Volunteer. Contact Us. Become a Member.
Still can't find an answer to your question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!