Alta, UT, Report: 14 Inches of Magnificent May Pow

Martin Kuprianowicz | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Devin skiing East Castle at Alta Ski Area this morning, which is currently closed for the season but open for uphill travel. Backcountry conditions exist. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Report from Tuesday, May 10, 2022

May has felt like the new February.

The mountains got 14″ of new snow yesterday—good snow.

It was slightly heavy powder this morning but nothing like you’d expect for mid-May.

It skied like a dream—a true pow day.

Morning walk. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

East faces managed to stay out of the afternoon sunshine yesterday and skied wonderfully today.

Devin and I toured up to Alta’s East Castle before work this morning and scored the goods.

We watched the mountains glow like fire as the sunrise painted their faces.

Morning views. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Once on top of East Castle, the snow skied like any powder I’ve ever known, with a bit of crust underneath in spots.

You could get face shots and hit crusty bottom in the same series of turns.

Still, conditions felt more like it was February or early March instead of May—it was chilly, cloudy, and the snow was cold.

Devin dropping into East Castle. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Devin went first and by the sounds of his hollers at the bottom, I knew it was good.

I dropped next, making wiggles in great powder above a field-goal-looking set up of trees I eventually skied through and to the bottom of the face.

By 8 am, our days had been made.

East Castle.|  Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

East Castle is one of my all-time favorite zones at Alta and in conditions like these it’s hard to beat.

Will winter ever end?


Screenshot courtesy of NOAA 5/10/22



Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

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One thought on “Alta, UT, Report: 14 Inches of Magnificent May Pow

  1. Northeast skier here…love Alta…stupid question for people that may want to answer…I know the answer will probably be something like “Don’t try this at home!”…I know responsible backcountry skiers take avalanche courses for snow stability….I still want to ask…In general, How do you know when the snow on a slope is most likely stable?

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