Alpine Meadows, CA, Report: Idiot’s Delight and a Lot of Firsts

Anton Lengyel | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Wolverine Bowl at Alpine Meadows early Sunday morning. (Credit: Author)

This report is from Sat 3rd and Sun 4th June, 2023

I started the weekend with my first-ever backcountry lap Friday evening.

We arrived at Tahoe Donner late in the afternoon, and a family friend offered to take me up to Sunrise Bowl for a quick ski.

Slightly unprepared, I managed to rig my skis to a backpack and set off on the hike. 

Me proudly beginning the hike. (Credit: Author)

It took roughly 15 minutes to hike to the top, and the view from the summit was pretty neat. 

The snow was like mashed potatoes and full of small pockets I presumed were caused by the rain, but nevertheless was still enjoyable.

sunrise bowl view
The view from the summit of Sunrise Bowl. (Credit: Author)

The next day, I arrived at Alpine around 8:10 and took my first ride up Summit Express.

Never before being at Alpine, Idiot’s Delight (I presume) quickly caught my attention, and it became my goal for the day. 

idiot's delight
The current state of Idiot’s Delight. (Credit: Author)

Not wanting to eat snow, I took a couple of warmup laps down the lower part of Wolverine Bowl and under the lift line. 

After I was feeling warmed up and confident, I took a hike to Beaver Bowl first. 

Views were great and so was the steeper corn, but it was a bumpy slog for the lower part of the run. 

beaver bowl
View from the top of Beaver Bowl. (Credit: Author)

Unfortunately, ski patrol closed the hikes towards Wolverine Bowl and beyond, so I had to postpone Idiot’s Delight for the next day and instead decided to explore the rest of the mountain. 

I spent my last few runs until closing exploring the Three Sisters area, doing my best to avoid the lower altitude mashed potatoes.

three sisters
The Three Sisters chutes. I skied the far two chutes. (Credit: Author)

The chutes were steep and still held decent snow, and they were pretty fun. 

three sisters chute
Looking down the middle chute off the Three Sisters. (Credit: Author)

I arrived around the same time Sunday, and had my sights on skiing Idiot’s Delight.

After a warmup lap, I took the hike up to the chute and peered down.

looking down idiot's delight
Staring down the chute. (Credit: Author)

It was steep.

After a mandatory pole tap, I dropped in and was greeted with the best turns of the weekend. 

Successfully shooting out, I made a quick detour towards the Three Sisters again and got a few more good turns in. 

Afterwards, I decided to take a hike up to the Keyhole Slopes. 

Keyhole slopes
The Keyhole area. (Credit: Author)

The views from the top were incredible and so was the skiing.

What more could you ask for in June than a steep, soft, pearly-white chute with a small drop-in?

keyhole chute
Looking down one of the Keyhole chutes. (Credit: Author)

I decided to spend the rest of my day lapping the chute, since the rest of the mountain was mostly heavy, sticky slush. 

I discovered the importance of sluff management during this time, nearly taking a tumble after turning directly into my sluff.

After four laps, I was getting pretty tired and decided to eat a quick lunch at the top of Keyhole before making one last run down.

keyhole view
The view from the top of the Keyhole area. (Credit: Author)

I left around 1:00 as thunderclouds were beginning to roll in. 

It was an epic weekend for June, and I had some of the best non-pow runs of the season.

Thanks, Alpine Meadows!


Three Sisters Snowstake
A snow stake near the top of the Three Sisters, displaying a snow depth of 160″. (Credit: Author)
Alpine Base Snow Numbers
Current snow stats. (Credit: Palisades Tahoe)


Credit: NOAA

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