Alta received it’s first significant snowfall of the season on September 24. Over 15″ were reported making for some skiable turns. Rocks and stumps were everywhere but if you skied cautiously you could avoid damage to your skis. I decided to give Baldy Shoulder a shot and was pleasantly surprised by the conditions only hitting one rock on the way down.
A few brave shredders that day tackled Main Chute with decent results in the gut of the chute. It looks like were back to sunny warm temps for the next couple of weeks but winter will be here before you know it!
This year’s Frank may or may not have been the last. Let’s hope not because once again the festivities reminded us just how much fun the party known simply as Frank can be. Locals worked extra hard this past week to build a stage for the announcing crew and others took on the even larger project of building a series of jumps. A tunnel was constructed with at least 6 huge kickers surrounding it. A less-than-Bud-mogul-tour quality bump line was also in place down the gut of Punch Bowl.
Skiers were as usual throwing huge tricks and taking crazy speed in to the kickers. And the party of onlookers was larger than any of the previous years. First place went to local Andrew Pollard, for no particular reason and that’s how we like it. Cheers to everyone who participated and those who just showed up to drink.
Alta’s closing day was one to remember. If it weren’t for last year’s impressive final day I’d say this was by far the best closing day in memory. A 13″ storm total provided exceptional skiing conditions. The snow came in thick but not sticky. You could carry speed without concern pretty much everywhere. Alta’s slopes were so smooth it felt like a race course on all aspects.
Nobody showed up for opening chair giving the die-hards a country club like day for the first two hours. By the time the late day party goers showed Alta Ski Patrol dropped the Devil’s Castle gates to those with backcountry gear. It’s pretty rare to ski the Castle this empty and untracked making for a very memorable end to the season.
A big thank you to everyone who helped support the blog this season! See you all next year!
If you haven’t met Bill Barron on the slopes of Alta yet then now is the time to get to know him. Bill started patrolling for Alta in 1990 and later became Deputy Marshall for the town of Alta.
In 2009, Bill created Renewable Energy Resources, a non profit organization with the intention to help facilitate ways for individuals to become more energy efficient. Bill chose to postpone his work with his own non-profit to collaborate with the Citizens Climate Lobby. CCL is an international non-partisan non-profit organization focused on promoting federal legislation called fee and dividend to address our human impact on the environment.
Bill is running as an unaffiliated candidate for US Senate. Bill is running as a single issue candidate focused on the need to address climate change while promoting a legislative solution which has the capacity to begin to match the scale of the problem: Carbon Fee and Dividend and create an opportunity for constituents to use their vote to make a statement of their concern for this overarching issue. “My goal is to attain 10% of the vote, 91,000 people. This would draw attention in DC and shift the way this issue is viewed. Based on the current political makeup, this is the most effective way that I can create change and highlight the moral responsibility we have as a generation to take action.”
Please visit Bill Barron’s website and get out and vote for this important issue.
The season is coming to a close but don’t tell Alta that. 9″ of thick Spring mank blanketed Alta’s slopes yesterday. The storm came in with lots of lightning causing Ski Patrol to shut down the mountain around 1:00 pm. The mountain remained closed for the remainder of the day providing some smooth first tracks this morning.
Patrol were bombing all over the place and most aspects were sliding pretty far causing the High T to remain closed all day. Luckily Baldy Shoulder opened around 11:00 giving skiers a few more chances to dip their tips in fresh pow one last time. Temps were warm but the sun didn’t come out much so hopefully tomorrow morning will still be good. Get it before it’s gone!
Alta’s 2015-2016 season is coming to a close in the coming weeks but it’s not all bad news. A host of events is scheduled to take place starting tomorrow. Kicking things off is the “Alta in April Demo Day.” Held at the Wildcat Base, Alta and the Deep Powder House will be offering FREE next-year demos from the top ski manufactures. Companies participating include: Atomic, Blizzard, Dynastar, Rossignol, Völkl, DPS, Fischer, Line, Head, Nordica, K2, 4Frnt, ON3P, Elan and Sego.
Starting Saturday April 16th Alta will be hosting their annual Earth Day event. Featuring eco-friendly vendors, naturalist tours and birding at Alta. Alta Earth Day encourages environmental stewardship, responsible recreation and awareness of the relationship between climate change and the ski industry in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Come join Alta and support Mother Earth next weekend!
Concerning Alta’s closing day details, we still have one more week of weekday skiing. After that Alta closes it’s 7 day a week operations on Sunday, April 17. Alta will reopen for its final days of the 2015-2016 ski season on April 22, 23 & 24. It looks like the only lifts still in operation at that point will be Collins and Sunnyside. Fortunately lift tickets will only run you $52 with children 12 and under getting in for $26.
It’s been a great season so far. Come celebrate with Alta for their closing weekends!
After being out of commission for the past three weeks with a compressed disc it’s good to be back on snow again even if it is a mix of slush and ice. Luckily the sub par conditions are going unnoticed as Alta is so empty it feels like you have the place to yourself.
Slopes were bulletproof this morning but started to soften up significantly by the noon hour. Turns in Devil’s Castle were tracked but soft and groomers were ripping fast pretty much everywhere. Tomorrow looks to be even warmer so getting up there a little early might be in your best interest if you wanna avoid any sticky slush.
Zero lift lines, empty chairs and no cars in the parking lot is nice but this scene is really causing it all to sink in, the season is coming to an end. Luckily their is a storm on the horizon and if history repeats itself we’ll likely see a couple more dumps before it’s all said and done.
It hasn’t exactly been a record breaking year this season but compared to the last four winters we’ve been spoiled. By the end of December and January most locals were under Mother Nature’s powder spell and were convinced we were back on track to an average if not record breaking year.
Unfortunately February never delivered and instead broke records in the wrong direction. It was the warmest February on record and skiers began to wonder if we’d ever see a typical Alta winter again. Luckily Alta always seems to impress and things have started to pick back up now that our snowiest month has arrived.
Check out our best shots from this season and stay tuned for more to come! Spring pow has just sprung!
Sleeper pow days are rare but when you’re lucky enough to catch one you’ll never forget it. The forecast last night was calling for a trace so waking up to a fresh 6″ was a nice surprise. The mountain was completely empty all day long making for fresh turns well into the afternoon. The new snow came in thick helping to hide those nasty crud bumps.
Backside, Catherine’s, and Keyhole all opened in the morning but Baldy Shoulder remained closed all day long. Rumor has it Alta Ski Patrol aren’t going to open Ballroom and the Shoulder until the Baldy Chutes are ready to go. This would give skiers a chance to ski the chutes with a decent exit below. Devil’s Castle will also open tomorrow so get it while you can!
The 11″ that fell mostly late yesterday and overnight blanketed Alta with a beautiful soft new layer of snow. Skies cleared before sunrise which made for a great bluebird pow day.
Alta Ski Patrol were on it this morning. The lifts opened 15 minutes early at 9am and by the time we were getting to the peak of Collins most terrain had already opened. Backside and High Eddies first thing and Baldy Shoulder wasn’t far behind. The only terrain not to open today was the Devil’s Castle and Baldy Chutes.
Bad News in the Baldy Shoulder area was particularly smooth and unaffected by any serious avalanche debris. Keyhole had deep turns as well. Overall a great day to be up in the mountains.