Hello Skiers and Boarders,
A quick review of the past few days at Alpine for those of you who have not been on the hill.
Friday was an awesome day. The surface of the entire mountain was smooth from high winds that whipped over the entire area. There was not a mogul in site. A chalky surface that allowed one to hold an edge and carve long sweeping turns. Winds were howling again at the ridge tops which kept a number of the lifts on wind hold, however Summit was running. Strong winds were blowing at our faces as we departed the lift, but they were really only a bother at the very top of the chair. It was cloudy and the light was flat (this seems to be the theme of the season). East and West Palisades have merged into one open slope. They were excellent on Friday. High Yellow Gully and the area below High Yellow Face and Sherwood Cliffs were also excellent. It was just one of those special days when the entire mountain was wind packed. It was unfortunate that most of the lifts were on wind hold and that Summit closed early do to the increasing winds.
Saturday all parking lots were filled again. Various forms of precipitation fell, but most of it was wet snow. Light was again flat. The new snow that had fallen overnight was wet and heavy, but smooth underfoot from the day before. All lifts opened and first tracks in the uncut new snow, that had not been skied the day before, were good enough to call fun. I had Gentian to myself as I was one of the first skiers on Scott Chair. A quiet and pleasant experience that is rare these days. One note of caution, especially in the flat light, there are wind drifts in areas that one might not expect. Some of these are rather large and can be an unpleasant surprise. I experienced a few runs turning in fresh snow. Friends went directly to Lakeview and Sherwood and reported uncluttered slopes and a nice surface free of tracks for a hour or so after opening.
Today I was not going to hit the slope do to the wet snow or rain that was falling in the morning. There was new snow to carve up that fell overnight on the mountain, but it was pretty wet. Flat light and very wet conditions did not seem attractive today. However after moving slowly in the morning, and drinking a cup of warm coffee at the Crest Café, the sun seemed to be making an appearance. At least the sky was getting lighter. I was prompted to head up to lodge by a friend who was on the hill. Of course it was snowing at the mountain and the snow was very wet, but I joined a friend and we ventured out just to say we did it. Skier packed snow was like concrete which is what happens to wet snow that is packed down. Light was flat and my goggles were partially fogged. In addition the outer lens was covered with drops of water. A couple of runs on Roundhouse and a couple on Scott and we felt good about having faced mother nature. I actually enjoyed the turns on Standard Trail and in Gentian (at least I could see in the trees) where not many skiers had passed before me. With soaking wet gloves, and a cold rear end from sitting on wet chairs, we headed for the warmth of our locker room.
Promises of sun tomorrow late morning. It would be nice to the see the sun for awhile as the rest of the week appears to be calling for more snow.
Enjoy your day,