Alyeska, AK Conditions Report: Wet Meets Wild

Paulie | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Snowpack & Spirits rising as one
Image, C. Anderson

The heights of Mount Alyeska are a case of Jekyll and Hyde: the former falling as thick packable powder stuffing the topmost altitudes even as I type, the latter a devilish wind-born breed of precip. happily lashing the lower mountain.

Annual ski-burning revelry, Ullr Fest marked Alyeska Resort’s December 8th mountain opening, a full week in advance of previously announced dates. And over the seven days since that generous early start, a reported 28 creamy inches have padded its famous Glacier Bowl, with more seemingly enroute.

beers+bonfires=blizzards
AK Faithful gather to honor Ullr, the ski god.

In true tip-of-the-cap fashion, Alyeska Resort began opening weekend revelries with a special Friday session honoring only season pass holders. Hundreds turned out for the long awaited date, and even more now flock to ski the 63 inches currently reported to coat Alaska’s iconic snow playground.

Their eagerness is well founded. Mount Alyeska unleashes from its 2,500 vertical foot rise 76 named trails and over 1,600 hundred ski-acres. Even the low visibility of recent days fails to completely obscure its clean, white ridgelines at home above jaw-dropper chutes and hidden treelines fanning into still deepening powder fields.

Snowpack is holding best at higher altitudes, particularly under currently zesty winds, and I’m discovering soft, workable snow to link my top to bottom turns. Black diamonds, Gates Gully and Prospector served rich frosting dollops while farther below, mainstay blue runs Champagne and Von Imhof rolled like white carpet; wide, often empty, and idyllic for indulgent S-turns OR snowball fights.

Vibes trump base
Early season antics followed by fresh snow.

Bottomline: Tops fattening, base thinner, but all fun.

Near constant updates track the still growing snowpack, and Alyeska Resort Webcams whirring to provide a realtime view. In the meantime, the stoke is high and looks to increase with the slopes packing on snow and the ski area yet awaiting this season’s opening of iconic North Face, one of the skiing world’s longest, most beautiful, and untamable Dbl Black Diamonds.

This snowscape is as big as imagination makes it and weather’s on its way. Ahead waits an epic season!

SNOW NUMBERS:

Alyeska Today
Today at Alyeska

FORECAST:

Fresh stuff comin'
Prognosis: Pow

 


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