“Better late than never”, was the phrase most used, as today was easily Alyeska’s best powder day of the season. So far the last part of March and almost everyday in April has been the best powder days of the season till today. Today was the most substantial with over a foot of “Alaskan low density snow” that fell on the upper mountain. It was not the day to miss out on! And just in time for the spring carnival this weekend!
It was a classic weekday storm day at Alyeska, which means nobody on the hill and plenty of fresh snow till closing at 6pm. There was about 20 people standing in line at chair four before the mountain opened at a 11am. Needless to say there was no lifeline all day long. No visibility in the morning made for plenty of powder stashes in the afternoon. It seemed that most people called it quits early because by 2 o’clock our crew and a couple others were the only souls on the mountain reaping the benefits of a soft opening on high traverse. It was deep! The type of deep where each face shot felt like somebody through a bucket of snow into your face.
The clouds parted and the light shined so naturally it was time to find some air. Eagle rock is one of my go to cliffs at Alyeska and is the only cliff open at the moment. It was hitting amazing today although the run out was a bit manky and bumpy. All the other main drops at alyeska are in areas that have not been open this season due to lack of snow. Eagle rock is riddled with some technical lines form large single airs to technical triple drops. Its a bit tricky at the moment with exposed rocks off the lips of the drops, which requires a pre pop, and a landing into a tight tranny and a mogul field run out. Its not quite an appealing feature on the mountain at the moment.
Kitchen cliff was another feature hitting well today! Its above chair six coming off the cat track. It’s Alyeska’s hollywood air which can be taken anywhere from 10 feet to 30 feet depending on your speed. Other than that the typical jump lines coming out of all the gullies were also top notch.
South face was skiing the best today and felt like it was holding the most snow. The alders made the low visibility much more manageable by giving some depths of field when you weren’t blinded by a face shot. Gail’s gully all the way over to silver tip nose were amazing when you could see and by later in the afternoon when the light got better it was the place to be. Tons of left overs to be had!
By closing time today the snowfall picked up pace again. Not much is expected overnight but I can guarantee tomorrow will not be a day to miss as well! The rest of the week and into next week is looking promising for precipitation with average temperatures for this time of the season. Lets keep our fingers crossed! This season is just beginning!