Eaglecrest Ski Area will be closed to all users on Thursday, July 23, 2020, as they conduct blasting operations. (Courtesy photo | Eaglecrest Ski Area)

Eaglecrest Ski Area will be closed to all users on Thursday, July 23, 2020, as they conduct blasting operations. (Courtesy photo | Eaglecrest Ski Area)

Eaglecrest to hold demolition work

They’re blasting into a rock face to create more material for trails.

Eaglecrest Ski Area will be closed Thursday, July 23, while blasting is occurring to create material for ongoing trail work.

“It’s going to be on the upper mountain, midway up the Black Bear Chairlift,” said Eaglecrest marketing manager Charlie Herrington in a phone interview. “We did a ton of the excavation work ourselves. It cut the total price in half.”

Alaska Juneau Construction is contracted to do the drilling and demolition work, Herrington said. They’ll bore into the exposed rock and detonate charges, fragmenting the rock for relatively easy removal and breaking up into material for the trails.

The trail work is part of a push by Eaglecrest to make the most of the truncated ski season.

“The progress has been great. We’ve got a big crew. Usually there’s only 3-4 trail crew max,” Herrington said. “Since ski season ended early, we kept some of the ski patrollers on. We’re having a really productive off-season.”

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The workers, part of the City and Borough of Juneau’s Covid-19 Conservation Corps, is expanding the mountain bike trail to the top and bottom of the Hooter Chairlift. Currently, it doesn’t quite reach the ends, but the CCC workers give Eaglecrest more assets to work with than usual, Herrington said.

“It’s expensive and hard to do especially with volunteers. You really need a regimented schedule and people trained with heavy machinery,” Herrington said. “The CCC crew is working on a hardened trail to Dick’s Lake. That’s another huge thing and it’s going really well.”

The public is asked to clear out of Eaglecrest by 6 a.m. on Thursday. It will be reopened once blasting is complete.

Once the mountain reopens, all hiking and biking users are asked to yield to construction machinery for the duration of the summer trail construction season for safety of all, according to the press release.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

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