Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska Conditions Report: Best Skiing in Two Years

Scott Rich |
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A fun tree skiing spot in Turnagain Pass. Similar to the Lolo’s trees at Alyeska. Photographer: Corey Anderson (CoreyAndersonPhoto.com, @chugachski). Skier: Scott Rich (@downhillsr)

Well, its been yet another “epic week” at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska! Since the last conditions report, Alyeska has received three significant storms. Last Monday, Alyeska received about 9 inches of snow at the top of Glacier Bowl Express. The quality of the snow was fairly low density but quickly turned into “mashed potatoes” at the top of Ted’s Express. There was not a soul on the mountain, which is why I love Alyeska! You can show up just before opening, at 10:15AM, and still get first chair (not usually the case on the weekends) . Low visibility, made for plenty of pow stashes in the afternoon. On days like this, I like to spend my mornings backcountry skiing in Turnagain pass, then rip afternoon laps at the resort. Nothing better than a classic double dip.

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Over 30+ inches of snow has fallen within one week in the Girdwood Valley and Turnagain Pass. Photo of skier Scott Rich (@downhillsr) backflipping from a pillow in Turnagain Pass, Ak. Photo By Photographer Corey Anderson (coreyandersonphoto.com, @chugachski)

Tuesday evening was our next jolt of significant snow accumulation. Wednesday morning greeted Alyeska with 8 inches of “low Density snow.” Although, it was low density, the old surface layer was still soft from Monday’s powder day. This allowed the locals to get “sendy” on jump lines that haven’t been open for two years, such as the classic jump called Picnic. Picnic rock, is basically a large rock mound about 40 feet tall. When enough snow accumulates, it forms a massive 30 foot lip that looks like its going to send you into the town of Girdwood. Its a fairly intimidating yet ascetic backdrop, with a large landing, which allows rippers to send it to the moon! Unfortunately, I missed this day as I was backcountry skiing in the pass. Turnagain Pass has been receiving twice as much snow than Girdwood valley, The skiing has been DEEP and absolutely incredibleā€¦

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Maeve Lavatar shredding her way down High Traverse at Alyeska Resort. Girdwood Valley and Turnagain Arm in the background. Photo by Brooke Edwards!

Finally on Saturday, Alyeska Resort received another 13+ inches of snow. This storm came in a bit warmer. The snow line was about 800 feet. This was a very busy day, and unfortunately, the Powder didn’t last long. They did manage to open up High Traverse later in the day, which gave everybody a few extra pow turns to enjoy! Sunday, the temperatures dropped and solidified the wet snow on the lower mountain, but has kept the snow nice and soft at the top. The quality of the snow is chalky, with minimal moguls, making off trail ripable! The new Terrain that opened this weekend is part of Brown Shorts and the Far Right side of Lolo’s. This is by far the most snow I have seen at Alyeska Resort in two years! This season is going to be all time!!

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Another Shot of Maeve Lavtar digging trenches on High Traverse at Alyeska Resort. The Shadows in the Background (hiking accessed terrain that will hopefully open this season!). Photo by Brooke Edwards

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