During a couple hours in mid-afternoon Alta saw utter puke-age. No Name and Regal Chutes at 3pm didn’t have a single track on them it was snowing so hard. The entire face of West Rustler looked untouched. High Boy and Eagle’s Nest skied fast and soft all day. Keyhole opened on skier’s left side and besides the sketchy crux of the bending chute, it skied fast and light. To put it plainly, everything was sick today. There were many runs that skied seemingly without effort. More snow in the forecast means more sickness to come!
The traffic heading up canyon has been pretty unbearable the past couple of days but Alta has provided plenty of rewards for those who wait. With nearly two feet falling in the past 48 hours it’s been hard to complain. Backside opened up this morning and outside of the low viz and powder panic’d holiday skiers the snow was phenomenal. It got tracked up quick but there were plenty of other options to choose from. We ended up shredding Key Hole laps for most of the day waiting for patrol to let us into Baldy Shoulder. Unfortunately it didn’t open until almost 3pm awarding those that didn’t have to work this afternoon. High pressure looks to be setting in for the coming week so get your pow laps in while you can.
I must have been a good boy this year because Santa brought my Christmas wish early. Deep, light, fluffy pow! The past three days have been unforgettable. A stormy Christmas eve, a sunny bluebird Christmas day, and another deep and stormy post-Christmas day. Conditions were great everywhere but Keyhole was by far today’s winner. I’m not sure if people didn’t notice that it was open but no one was skiing it. The coverage is good to go on the left side lines but, if you head right be sure to slow down towards the bottom as some of the exits are still a bit rocky. The forecast looks super-tasty for tonight and tomorrow so make sure to set those alarms.
Alta Ski Patrol opened Main Chute and Keyhole today for the first time this season. I was unfortunately not able to make it in time to catch a run down Main Chute but, according to friends it was skiing great. I was able to barely make it through the Keyhole gate before closing and the snow, although tracked, was still skiing soft and fast. Patrol only opened the left side of Keyhole so it looks like we’ll have to wait to taste those right side lines. Our next storm is forecasted to arrive this Sunday. Keep those fingers crossed for a white Christmas!
With a storm total of 13 inches and the entire mountain opening by early morning you couldn’t ask for much more out of a powder day. Even though the mountain was pretty tracked by the end of the day Sunday, the extra four inches that fell overnight was enough to fill in those gaps between powder pillows everywhere. We found amazing turns in Keyhole, Baldy Shoulder, and Backside all day long. The snow wasn’t blower pow in most areas, but you could still find those shots where it felt like some good old Alta 3% snow density. Looks like another 4-8 (Cottonwood Canyons forecast) for tonight. Keep it coming!
Although snow reports of 80 inches in 8 days are not rolling in here like they just did in Jackson Hole, we still have some new openings here at Alta to keep us busy. Yesterday, around 2:30 in the afternoon, Alta Ski Patrol lifted the Keyhole gate for some very lucky skiers. Unfortunately, I was not one them but I did get a chance to sample some of their leftovers this morning. Coverage is decent but most of the exits at the bottom are very steep, rocky, and not even close to being filled in. The snow up top was great though, making the hike or lucky bus ride back to Alta well worth it. Conditions elsewhere on the mountain are really starting to stiffen up. Greely Hill was surprisingly fresh in areas but other than that I found myself really wishing we had another huge storm on our doorstep. The extended forecast looks pretty bleak but there is some promise of a light system moving through tomorrow night that could bring 3-7 inches by Thursday morning.