Alyeska currently has the deepest snowpack in North Ameirca (196″) and the biggest snowfall total in North America (648″).
It’s been a crazy week here at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, AK. For the last five days the storms just won’t quit! Last Saturday started with a abnormally warm low pressure system with powerful winds. The wind loading and extreme weather made it impossible for the resort to open up Monday due to how fast snow was accumulating at the top of Alyeska. The Mountain received over 50 inches in 48 hours. Unfortunately, the snow line rose significantly on Sunday causing a firm wind/rain crust from the Tram House down.
Even though the conditions weren’t what most people expected that day, we did get a ton of snow, and the upper mountain has completely transformed. Almost every rock feature is completely buried and are now rollers, its the most snow I have seen in over 3 seasons on the upper mountain. The lower mountain, however, is a different story. Though there is still plenty of snow on the beginner and intermediate terrain, it is beginning to look patchy. Lets hope we get a weather pattern shift soon, we need more snow at the base!
Wednesday, the mountain closed yet again due to high winds and heavy precipitation. Again, this storm has been abnormally warm, with a fluctuating snow line form the top of Ted’s Express to the top of the tram house. Over the last 24 hours, Alyeska Resort received 18 inches of heavy snow at the top of Glacier Bowl Express and about 2 inches at the bottom Glacier Bowl Express. The skiing was quite good today, that is if you could see where you were going. The snow was heavy but carvable at the top of Glacier Bowl express and spring like skiing below the Round House. The sun decided to pop out intermittently in the afternoon, but was quickly saturated by clouds, heavy snow and strong winds. Nevertheless the riding was still fun out there, and has been exciting to see how different the upper mountain looks with all this snow.
According to the the Chugach National Forrest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC.org), Girdwood and Turnagain Pass, has received over 8 inches of water in the last five days , which means the upper alpine has received over 8 feet of new snow. Despite all this rain, things are looking incredible up high, which translates to an all time spring when the sun does decide to pop again. So try not to let all this crazy weather bring you down, or second guess your spring trip to Alaska, this is the most snow Alaska has had up high in a few years! Its going to be all time!