Things turned out just about the way they were supposed to today. Ultimately, if you were patient, there was some pretty good skiing and riding at Alpine Meadows today.
It did not freeze last night except at the highest elevations. Clouds moved in sometime last night, which kept temperatures from dropping much. Those same clouds also kept things cooler this morning, aided by some stiff upper winds. Instead of a pleasant corn morning, it was more of a semi-refrozen slush morning.
Sunspot was firm this morning, but Alpine Bowl offered some very nice turns. The grooming department did a very good job of buffing it out last night. That was pretty important with the flat light out there. Lower on the mountain, from Rock Garden down, the nicely groomed snow was super soft. It didn’t take too long for large trenches and big slush piles to form. Yeah, not quite your typical corn day.
Although we were enjoying watching the Banzai from Summit, we moved on to Scott. Conditions on Scott were quite a bit better. Although it was too early for Scott’s Chute, may people discovered that Bobby’s and Ridge run were offering up more of a corn experience. As long as you were patient and let teams get ahead of you, they offered some fast, fun turns.
Sometime around noon, the patient were rewarded and the sun came out long enough to soften off piste areas on large parts of the mountain. We returned back to Lakeview, which offered the most consistent conditions for corn yesterday. Today, Lakeview was even better with the slightly cooler temperatures. The winning runs today were the Lakeview chairline and Twilight Zone. We also managed to sneak in a couple of runs on Inner Outer, just beyond the boundary, in that short little window between too firm and too sticky.
Now normally, I wouldn’t be quite so detailed about the exact locations of what was the best. We’re only being that specific because I expect things will change a lot this week. Things are melting fast on Scott and Lakeview. Brush and rocks were popping up all over the place and there were some serious brown skid marks in the area today. I don’t believe that there’s enough snow in the forecast this week to keep those areas good. Once those rocks and bare patches absorb some heat, the melt process increases exponentially.
A few things about the Rahlves Banzai tour to add in. The preparation for this event is phenomenal. The shear amount of course preparation in fencing, crowd control, sound and promotional work is astounding. Everything about the event looked like it was really well done by SquAlpine staff. It’s no easy undertaking. It’s unfortunate that it’s so difficult to keep up with the competition without actually walking to the base of the venue and looking at the brackets. It would be awesome if a huge poster with the run order was available in several places around the mountain. It would be even better if the Rahlves people pulled together to get that stuff online in as close to real time as possible. As of tonight, there’s still no results posted on the Banzai site on their Facebook page. Maybe next year…it would make a great event even more great. Update: I see there was a mobile app for 2013, but it was not offered for 2014.
So snow in the forecast for tonight? The forecast still calls for 2-4 inches above 7,000 feet tonight into tomorrow morning. There is also a good chance of some very strong ridge top winds tomorrow morning that could potentially prohibit you from getting to that new snow. Tuesday looks like it brings an east wind event for a day or two…and then the warm up begins. The extended is looking pretty depressing at the moment, so we will give it a few days and hope that situation improves.