With a season snowfall total of 212″, just 4″ below that of Jackson, Alyeska in Girdwood Alaska is having one of its worst seasons on record. After an unusually dry December in Alaska, January is proving to be a lot better, albeit a lot warmer, with snow, and sometimes rain in the forecast for the next week out. And yesterday delivered with 6+” of wet snow and one of the best powder days of the season according to locals. An empty mountain, wet pow slashes, big booters, and free refills towards closing hours made for one hell of a day yesterday, and by far one of my best of the season. After ditching Tahoe in search of snow, I first missed it in Utah, then again in Jackson, but I finally found it back home up in AK.
While 6″ of wet powder doesn’t sound that enticing, Alyeska is the type of mountain that can make it fun. The best snow of the day was found in the Picnic Rock and Brown Shorts areas, with wet pow making for solid landings. South Face and the Silvertip shoulder were also holding great pow slashing snow all day long. The visibility was pretty good for most of the day even under cloudy skies with only moderately flat light. The flat light and cloudy skies however made for some shitty photos, hence the lack thereof. With one of their worst seasons underway, Alyeska is still doing better than most of the West, and a hell of a lot better than Tahoe at the moment. And while I wouldn’t recommend looking at plane tickets for AK just yet, if things don’t turn around soon it may be time to hit the road again.