After years of planning, fund-raising and hard work from volunteers, Skeetawk, the Mat-Su Valley's first-ever triple chair lift downhill ski area, is set to open Saturday, December 5.

Last Saturday, Skeetawk hosted a surprise soft opening for its season pass holders and members and it went well, said General Manager Scott Patridge. He said everyone is looking forward to the official opening this Saturday.

"Seeing those first kids off the lift and knowing all the work that went into making it a reality, it gave me goose bumps," Patridge said.

Skeetawk is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with hours possibly expanding in the spring with extended daylight hours. It is located at Mile 10.6 Hatcher Pass Road.

Patridge said Skeetawk is "very Alaskan, very raw and people need to know that we are a self-sufficient ski area. We've got great snow, one lift and 30 acres," he said. There is about a 300 vertical feet gain on the runs, which vary from beginner to expert.

Skeetawk features a yurt where people can purchase their tickets and purchase small snacks, but due to Covid precautions, it will not be open as a warming area. Patridge said Skeetawk is taking every measure possible to ensure a safe and positive experience for skiers in wake of the pandemic.

"This winter, we're operating under the idea that your car is your lodge. We're following industry standards and we are very family friendly, but there won't be a place to gather and warm. This year, it's all about the skiing and snowboarding. We're taking lots of precautions to make sure everyone stays safe," he said. "We're requiring face coverings in the yurt, in the lift lines and anywhere being socially distant isn't possible."

The organization recently unveiled an all-new web site,, that features current mountain conditions and a live web cam of the parking lot and the slopes.

This weekend, grab your skis and head to Skeetawk to be a part of history in the making in the Mat-Su Valley!