With 20″ falling in the past 5 days and Alta’s lifts remaining closed all week, skiers were hungry this morning to devour some pow. Conditions were pretty good on most aspects besides anything West facing which had a weird zipper crust on top of it. The snow definitely set up a bit yesterday in the sun but their were still plenty of spots to get your pow on. Eagle’s Nest although tracked was fast and powy. Backside was super smooth and creamy but had low viz throughout most of the day. Baldy Shoulder looked great in the morning but clouds moved in pretty early on eliminating any desire to venture out. Snow looks to move back into the forecast tonight with 4-9″ expected to fall by tomorrow afternoon. Just two more weekends left to ski Alta. Get it while it lasts!
Considering the dismal conditions on Sunday a meager 5-inch storm overnight didn’t seem like it would be enough to turn things around. Thankfully, it did. The snow was sugary smooth and made for a night and day difference on traverses. Alta Ski Patrol opened both the Baldy Shoulder and Backside gates before noon and with an empty mountain consisting of mostly locals, conditions stayed fresh well into the afternoon. The weather forecast looks pretty appetizing for the next 7 days. It might soon be time to cash in those sick days.
Alta’s 75th Anniversary season kicked off this morning with plenty to write home about. Alta Ski Patrol opened all of their lifts, besides Supreme and Cecret, and even better opened most of their terrain. Considering that the High T didn’t open until January 26th last season, having it open on day one felt pretty good. There were still plenty of rocks around but with the creamy smooth snow conditions it was hard to complain. Baldy Shoulder and Ballroom skied extremely well especially if you ventured further out and braved the rocky section of the traverse. Thirds skied equally well minus the more noticeable rocky sections. High Boy was decent down low but the upper section was completely ruined by a slide that went pretty much down to the rock. Overall it was a fantastic opening to the 2012-2013 Alta ski season and with more snow on the way we’ll be trading out our rock skis in no time.
The weathermen must not be doing their homework because forecasts have been pretty off lately. Fortunately for us skiers they’ve all been wrong in a good way. With only 2″-4″ forecasted for last night waking up to 13″ and counting made it pretty easy to get out of bed this morning. Combine that with zero crowds and you couldn’t ask for much more out of a powder day. The skiing today was definitely one of the better days we’ve had this season. The entire mountain skied bottomless with face-shots a plenty. The Wild Cat lift closed down early in the morning and didn’t reopen until about 12:30 providing skiers with some more fresh tracks just in time as the snow off of Collins was starting to set up a bit. Shortly after Wild Cat started spinning again Alta Ski Patrol lifted the Keyhole gate provoking many powder-hounds to ski late into the afternoon. It looks like we won’t see much snow overnight but more precip is supposed to start back up sometime tomorrow morning. With only 3″-5″ predicted for tomorrow let’s hope forecasters continue to underestimate Mother Nature.
Considering that only 3″-6″ were forecasted for today the 12″ that did fall were a welcomed surprise.Alta’s lifts didn’t start running until almost 10:00 and apparently most skiers are over this season because there was no one up there. With snow falling most of the day conditions stayed fresh from open till close. In the morning there was a bit of an ice layer but by afternoon you weren’t hitting anything but face-shots. Pretty much everywhere was skiing great and nothing was getting tracked until late in the afternoon when the sun poked out. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny so get out there early before it all sets up. Sorry for the low quality video footage below. Both my camera batteries died early on so I had to use my phone instead.
The winds must have been howling last night because the 8 inches that fell in the past 24 hours were hard to find. Even when you did find a nice pillow of snow to turn in it was usually accompanied by a rock hard chunk of chunder. Rocky Point skied smooth and fast but you still felt that ever-present ice layer underneath the fresh snow. We found some of our best tuns in Lone Pine where it must of had some wind protection. Hopefully the sunny skies tomorrow soften up that crusty layer. Enjoy it while it lasts. Less than a month left before Alta closes.
With skies clearing and temps warming, the snow at Alta thickened up just enough to disguise that awful ice layer. Patrol opened Baldy Shoulder and Backside by first chair providing the early risers with some smooth and creamy skiing conditions. Devil’s Castle opened soon afterwards and was by far the best skiing on the mountain. Skiers were shredding the Apron in three turns with little worries of punching through to the ice layer. With the non-existent crowds even popular areas like High Boy skied great all day long. Forecasters are calling for 1-3″ tonight with skies clearing by tomorrow. Should be another fun day in the sun up at Alta.
After missing last weeks massive 50 inch dump, the 5 inches from today helped to ease my pain and lift my spirits. This morning was pretty brutal with a severely hard-packed ice layer underneath the small amount of snow that had fallen but, by 1:30 in the afternoon things really started to turn around. There was still a crusty layer in spots but face-shots were plentiful pretty much everywhere. We found our best turns in Thirds but, High Boy and Crescent Chute were also skiing well. Tomorrow’s weather looks to be somewhat warm and sunny so hopefully the snow thickens up a bit and eliminates that icy layer hiding beneath the surface. A lot of Alta’s terrain remained closed today so there should be some great skiing on Baldy Shoulder and Backside when patrol gets those areas open. Happy shredding!
One of the most infamous lines in North America has to be Jackson Hole’s Corbet’s Couloir. On March 7th Jackson Hole Mountain Resort closed Corbet’s so that TGR’s film crew could capture locals throwing tricks never done before on this iconic chute. Check out Griffin Post’s descent of the west wall at 1:25, Max Hammer’s cliff wall tap at 2:20, and 13 year old Daniel Tisi’s huge straight air at 2:45. Looks like quite the session!