Alyeska Conditions Report: The Return of Winter?

Scott Rich | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Classic inversion, single digits in the valley, mid twenties above the clouds.

Finally, Its beginning to feel a lot like winter here at Alyeska. Although not much snow has fallen in the last week since my last conditions report,  we finally have cold temperatures. This is allowing the snow-makers to get busy and fill in those lower mountain groomers… for the second time.

Colin Gordon throwing down a flat 5 on a classic natural lip at alyeska

Conditions earlier in the week were chalky off trail and perfect groomers all around. There is not enough snow to allow them to open up South Face, which was open two weeks ago but soon closed due to rain and lack of snow. Again, the best off trail skiing has been from Gails Gully down past Wick’s knoll. The jumps in and out of the gullies have been hitting great lately if you’re willing and hungry enough to send it on hard pack. It’s perfect for the tween jibber crowds!

Desi sherwood sending his signature right 3 into the clouds. Photo by professional photographer Corey Anderson. Follow his work on Instagram @chugachski

Later in the week, the skiing became rock hard. I couldn’t sharpen my edges enough. Blue ice began to form on the groomers, and became this week’s silent killer. It was a good week to be a patroller. Off trail was skiing the same just with more bumps.

Thursday NOAA put out a winter weather advisory. They predicted that it was going to be the most significant storm, with the highest snow fall totals of the season at sea-level. This may have been true for Anchorage, but not Girdwood. Of course we didn’t receive nearly as much snow as predicted in Girdwood. About 4 inches of low density snow fell top to bottom at Alyeska from Thursday-Saturday. Anchorage received much more snow. This was just enough snow to soften things up ever so slightly to earn some phony hokey stop face shots. After two hours, things went back to being icey and scraped up.


This week we have more cold weather, with temps dropping into the single digits during the day and negatives at night. It’s been over a year since South Central Alaska has seen negative temperatures. A new record. Wednesday will be our next chance of precipitation.Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.58.03 AM


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The backcounttry has been killer lately… Report soon. Screen Shot by Scott Rich


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