Alyeska Conditions Report: Frigid highs and Wet Lows

Scott Rich | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
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Classic Alyeska sunset. Photo by Allie Gordy

Just when you think things are shaping up here at Alyeska, mother nature decides to shut you down.  Last week things were looking great as it was cold and clear in the single digits. This made it possible for the snow makers to continue the battle to make snow on the lower mountain. Progress has been made. Now we can ski all the way to the base and up load on Ted’s express (chair 4) next to the day lodge. No more forced tram rides and 60 minute lines to down load the mountain! Wonderful!

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Scott Rich spinning a three of kitchen wall. Photographer: Corey Anderson

There’s also rumor of starting night skiing this week, which on a normal season, is supposed to start on December 19th. With the lack of snow and the minimal days they’ve had to make snow, Alyeska is doing a fantastic job trying to get runs open! Slowly they are succeeding!

The skiing during this high pressure was quite enjoyable. Although the snow was firm and chalky it made for some all time groomers to carve on. It was a week to get back to the roots and work on form and technique or even better, taking it back to the 90’s and busting out the mono board. Off trail was holding some good bump skiing. It was firm but not icy making off piste very rip-able.

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Desi Sherwood laying trenches on mighty mights. Photo from Desi Sherwood

Three days ago, the weather drastically changed from being in the single digits to becoming 40 degrees at sea level with heavy rain up to 4,000 feet. Another low blow by nature which seems to be a common trend this winter. If we had freezing temperatures during all these rainy storms, girdwood would be buried in feet of snow. Alyeska did not receive any precipitation in the form of snow during this storm.

Although it was rainy, the skiing was great! It felt like a classic spring day at Alyeska.  Off trail was super soft, making the jumps very forgiving, also letting riders open up a bit. The entire south face was super fun through the alders. There are lots of technical features hidden all over south face with the lack of snow we have. Alyeska has also opened up the rest of silver tip this week. Its been nice to have some space to spread out a bit.

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Josh Randich scratching his back off kitchen with the mono board. Photo by Corey Anderson

Over the last 24 hours, the temperatures have cooled down to the lower to mid 30’s at seal level and we have received no new snow since it last rained up to 4,000 feet. The snow is now rock solid on the groomers and is like skiing on coral reef off trail. Now is a prefect time to sharpen those edges!

Next week is looking like much of the same…RAIN. Lets hope the snow line is a bit lower this time and PRAY FOR SNOW!

NOTE: ALL PHOTOS BY PHOTOGRAPHER COREY ANDERSON (instagram @chugachski)

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