It’s the last weekend of skiing and riding at Alpine Meadows. Some people have been having a difficult time accepting that. But the thing is, the mountain looks almost identical to Memorial Day 2012 or July 4th 2011. Unfortunately, it’s only April 26th.
There was plenty of good skiing and riding at Alpine Meadows today and many people came out to enjoy it. It seemed to have caught Alpine staff by surprise. Parking lots 1 and 2 filled up, as well as a good portion of lot 3. There were times this morning where the small corral at Summit was nearly full. Obviously there were a lot of Squaw Valley ex-pats today. But we also ran into crews from Northstar, Mount Rose, and Boreal today. It seems clear that this will be a busy weekend.
The view from Gunner’s shows the minimal base area snow and not empty parking lots.
The skiing and riding today was as expected for a day that reached 65° at mid-mountain. There were a lot of people questioning whether or not it froze last night. The remote sensors are showing a low of 38° last night. Most areas were soft and clearly had not frozen, but there were pockets of firm conditions this morning that indicated some localized freezing. We would expect the same tonight.
The WROD required to get back to Summit….thanks for the effort Alpine staff!
The soft conditions made it difficult to tell how much grooming was done, or when it was done. The best I could tell, the grooming was limited to: Alpine Bowl, D8, a narrow part of Wolverine, a narrow part Weasel, Werners and the upper and lower terrain parks. A lot of areas were left ungroomed due to large patches of dirt and rocks that have appeared. That was not really a problem, as the ungroomed slopes often offered superior ski surfaces. Sweet Spot, Lower Yellow and Gunners Knob offered some nice corn today with some light sun cupping. All of the north facing slopes did well as usual, but the moguls are getting bigger.
There’s still some park features available high and low on the mountain and today the parks were crowded, as expected in late spring. It may be fair to say that park traffic today may have exceeded the total traffic for February and March combined.
There’s a couple of things to know for the weekend:
• Skiing is pretty limited for beginners and low intermediate skiers and boarders. With Roundhouse being the lowest lift, options for getting down the hill are limited. Groomers are narrow and soft. Obstacles on Rock Garden, Charity and Werners are funneling traffic onto a narrower path. Weasel is available but the return to Roundhouse over Tiegel Flats got sticky and slow early.
• Food services are limited. The Meadows Cafe offered mainly beverages. Most foods are served only outside at the Sun Deck BBQ, as is typical late season at Alpine. Melanie and the Viva Treats crew will be serving the usual awesome fare in the breezeway.
• Expect lift lines. If today was any indication, there is still plenty of demand for skiing and riding in Tahoe. Both Summit and Roundhouse should be running. It would be great to see ABC on the schedule…but a quick flyby today showed that the base terminal area is pretty burnt out. It’s unlikely we will see that open. If you have not been to Alpine for awhile…everything else is cooked.
• There’s bands on the Sun Deck both days and this week, it looks like the weather will be conducive to being out on the deck to enjoy it. Tailgate BBQs are also pretty popular these days. You may want to stake a claim to your spot early.
Thanks to the Alpine Meadows staff for making it happen this weekend. There’s plenty of mountains that just would have closed at this point in the game. See you out there!
Tower 19 offered smooth corn this morning.