Parking lots appeared to be pretty full again today. Commute times were again long. People seem to be trying to get to every ski area earlier and earlier just to find a parking space. A friend mentioned that the parking area at Northstar was full at 8:30.
However, I found that the mountain was not overcrowded at Alpine this morning. I arrived late (a friend dropped me off). The lines were not excessive at any lift (perhaps there were fewer people at Alpine today). I skied Lower Beaver, Peter’s Peril, Sun Bowl from the High Traverse, Expert Short Cut, and Gentian Gully. I was basically alone on each of this slopes which was a bit of a surprise. Sun Bowl was not really very good. The terrain had been skied, but not enough to create skier pack. It was made up of last weeks powder that had been sun soaked with multiple skier tracks crisscrossing the slope. It was not firm, so it was not very difficult to ski, but it was not longer cold snow or chalky skier pack. The rest of the slopes I skied remained filled with cold snow and chalky skier pack.
Photo by Andy Wertheim
Photo by Andy Wertheim
There were quite a few people on the lodge deck and sitting at the Ice Bar enjoying a lovely, warm January day. I think we are in for a few warm days this week before the next storm rolls in on Wednesday and Thursday.
Enjoy your day,
Editor’s Note: We had the same experience as Andy. It seems like everyone is now leaving much earlier just to make sure they get parking and don’t get told to go home. Today the lots were all full before 9:30 AM. So overall skier numbers may not be the biggest ever, it’s just that crunch to get there all at once. That crunch continued to be worsened today by the different comps still being held on the mountain, and all of those kids in competition needed to be “on time” for their events.
The heat yesterday and today was beginning to take it’s toll. As an example, Gentian Gully was not very pleasant anymore and neither were the isolated powder patches we were finding yesterday. During today’s mid-afternoon sun, the snow got clumpy and grabby in spots with a lot of sun. There also appeared to be more skiers on the hill and in lift lines today. Small moguls appeared in several well traveled groomed runs today. We ended up just spending much of the afternoon enjoying the big mountain competition on High Yellow.
Traffic out of Highway 89 was unpleasant this afternoon and Highway 80 is nearly at a standstill through the Yuba Gap this afternoon. Ouch.