Alyeska Ski Resort started spinning the lifts last Thursday, and my, what a difference one year makes! Contrary to last season, November started off cold, allowing the snowmakers to fill in the lower mountain with a decent base. This cold snap lasted until opening day, when a large subtropical storm rolled through, raising the temperatures to 37 degrees at the bottom of Alyeska. Luckily, enough snow has been made for the lower mountain to survive the torrential rain fall. There is currently plenty of snow for some quality lower mountain groomers. The snow is carvable and forgiving. As of now, the runs open on the lower mountain are: Upper and Lower Von Imhof, Sourdough, Race trail, Blueberry Hill and most of the groomers under Chair 3.