The Alta 2013 opening day was spectacular! They opened with four lifts (Collins, Wild Cat, Sugarloaf, Sunnyside) and tons of terrain. Unfortunately the High T remained closed all day but probably for good reason considering the low snow pack. Patrol bombed the crap out of Baldy Shoulder for most of the morning but never managed to get it open. They were definitely setting off quite a few slides so it really wasn’t too surprising that they kept it closed.
What terrain they did open however skied great. The fresh snow from the past week provided a decent base for venturing out along Tower 10 and tapping into Lone Pine, High Boy, and Stonecrusher…which all skied fantastic. Wild Cat had a delayed opening this morning but started spinning around 10am. This coming weeks forecast doesn’t look very snowy but I’m sure it will turn around soon enough. Enjoy Alta this weekend everyone!
The past two days have been good to Alta. Receiving what felt like close to 15″, Alta’s base is really starting to show signs of some actual depth. The snow today was light and fluffy up high and a little thicker down low. We spun a lap in Gunsight, Thirds, and Eagle’s Nest and only hit a couple of stumps and rocks here and there. There was some sluffing going on in Thirds but nothing like what was reported yesterday on Baldy Shoulder. Alta plans to open November 22nd and as of now conditions look to be shaping up nicely.
Today’s storm blew in light and fluffy and made for some supreme skiing conditions. Alta reported 12″ in the past 24 hours on top of the 17″ from this weekend. Alta Ski Patrol opened Backside pretty early on but you could definitely feel the bottom in spots. Thirds and Eagle’s Nest were skiing great but nothing compared to the endless waist deep turns in Key Hole. Skies cleared late in the afternoon making for a beautiful end to another magical day in Alta…
If you had a long work week Mother Nature evidently felt your pain. Dropping 17″ over the past 48 hours you couldn’t have asked for better pow days. Although voluptuous, last nights snowfall was a bit thick and in most places didn’t allow for any deep trenching turns. Skiing the Backside you almost felt like you were skiing on a groomer as you really didn’t sink in to the fresh pow at all. Keyhole seemed to be the one exception as face shots and waist deep turns were a-plenty. In Rocky Point Alta locales were hucking their meat throwing ginormous airs off of both A and B Frame. Our next system looks to make it’s way in starting tomorrow night and is forecasted to bring us 5-10″ of additional snowfall. Don’t put away those pow boards yet!
I don’t know if it was my flu like symptoms or the very noticeable rock hard bumps under the fresh snow, but today did not click for me. The disappointing 12″ was so light and fluffy that it allowed you to punch right through to the icy base. However, if you stayed light on your feet the new snow skied really well.
The thick weekend crowd got after it today shredding up most of Alta’s terrain before afternoon. Patrol opened everything outside of the Castle and Baldy Chutes so everyone had plenty of options. Our next storm doesn’t look like it will hit until Thursday but it appears we’ll stay in a northwest flow so hopefully no valley inversions set up this week.
The past two days have been nothing short of phenomenal. Yesterday (Tues) was just one of those deep powder days that sticks in your mind for months…if not years. There was deep Deep DEEP snow, especially on west-facing Keyhole, and with minimal crowds. Not much terrain opened beyond the High T but with snow continuing to fall throughout the day it didn’t matter. Wednesday greeted us with 5 fresh inches and counting, but the new snow was a bit thicker and created an upside-down effect in spots. Luckily the winds picked up, buffing and refilling Alta’s slopes all day. It’s looking like our epic pow storm is coming to an end tomorrow but nothing beats bluebird skies and 27″ of fluff! Get some!
After yesterday’s late afternoon pow laps collided with a three hour drive home I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this morning’s powder panic’d canyon snake. Somehow though this was not the case this a.m. as traffic flowed up canyon with no delays. It snowed 15″ in 24 hours with 9″ falling overnight making for a perfect Alta powder day. Alta Ski Patrol was on it this morning and had Backside, Baldy Shoulder, Key Hole and Catherine’s open before noon. The skiing in Backside and Baldy Shoulder was a bit disappointing as most of their slopes had slid out. Luckily even the slid debris was plenty soft and allowed skiers to really open it up. The weather looks AMAZING for this week with an additional 20-30″ forecasted to fall by this Thursday. Eat, ski, sleep and repeat!
Alta Ski Area will be releasing 75th Anniversary videos each month this winter. Showcasing some of Alta’s best moments over the past 75 years they are certainly worth a watch. This month’s video focuses on the gelande jumping event that Alta used to host starting in the late 1940’s. An event that was supposed to measure how far a skier could air seemingly turned into a freestyle event, as you will see towards the end of the video. It appears that even back in the day Alta skiers were pushing the limits of freestyle throwing big tricks with big consequences. If you missed last month’s video be sure to check that one out as well. Alta powder skiing doesn’t get much better!
The frigid temperatures at Alta today weren’t enough to keep a crew of local lady shredders away. For a weekend bluebird pow day Alta was eerily empty. Our crew of 11 shred-tastic women made the rounds and found great snow in Backside and Baldy Shoulder, which both opened before 11am. With no crowds to contend with untracked pow lines lasted well into the afternoon. The snow was a little thick but with fresh lines everywhere it was all these ladies needed to get their shred on. Backside and Baldy Shoulder were by far today’s highlights and although the skiing off the front side was tracked the snow was still soft and playful. The extended forecast looks pretty bleak so enjoy it while it lasts. A big thank you to all the ladies who participated today. Shred on!
Although the current conditions at Alta are hard to complain about, seeing the snowfall totals from around the state role in it’s hard not to wonder what happened. Even the Salt Lake valley crushed Alta’s meager 14″. According to the Utah Avalanche Center it was simply too cold to snow in the upper elevations. This makes sense as it was very Very VERY cold. It was painful to bust out more than three laps without checking in to the lodge for a cup of hot cocoa. Thank goodness the gettin’ was good. Alta Ski Patrol opened the Key Hole gate early in the morning Friday but outside of that and Catherine’s all other gates remained closed. The weather looks stable tomorrow so get ready for some untracked Baldy Shoulder and Backside laps.