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Opening Day For Lakeview Chair

Hello skiers and riders,

The morning sky was just a little overcast.  It was followed by a clear blue sky around the noon hour.  Winds were strong over the ridge tops all morning.  After two days of warm weather, and melting spring snow, temperatures dropped into the twenties overnight.  As you might imagine, this froze the surface solid, at least for the morning hours.  It appears that it never really got above freezing on the upper slopes and just above freezing at the base of the mountain.  We did receive a dusting of new snow overnight.  Dust on crust would be the word for the day.

Groomed runs were once again the choice of the day.  It was firm in most areas.  We did find a few spots that had enough coverage to enjoy dusty fresh turns. The low angle of Scott Meadows proved to be a place for a few soft turns as the base layer was fairly smooth.  I heard the groomed area of Sherwood was also pretty good as the little snow we received did not blow off the run.

I skied a few a runs on the Lakeview Chair (yes the Lakeview Chair).  This was opening day for Lakeview (March 23rd, wow!).  I have to give KSL credit for opening Lakeview, at least for a few days this late in the season.  My guess is that the previous owners would have closed it down for the season long ago.

Anyway, there were small piles of new snow along the runs that allowed me to turn in softness most of the time.  Of course, firmness popped up in between some of the soft turns.  Ridge Run off Scott was not bad, as it was similar to Outer Limits.  What a crazy week.  Powder, rotten spring snow, and now ice under a dusting.  A little sun, and a little more warmth or a little more new snow, will change the surface again and increase the smiles on those of us on the slopes.

Enjoy your day,

Andy

Good Groomer Day

Hello skiers and riders,

A bank of clouds is working its way into the western slopes of the Sierra.  A moderate wind is blowing over the ridge tops ahead of these clouds.  The temperature is fairly warm in Tahoe.  At noon it was 35 degrees at the top and 43 degrees at the base.  The snow surface froze overnight leaving a firm surface early in the morning.

I took a few groomed runs in the late morning.  At that point in time the groomed runs were soft, but not sticky.  However, off the groomed trails the snow was rotten.  Much of the mountain that is accessible via hiking was closed today.  It is supposed to freeze tonight.  Perhaps off piste will get better with a day or two of freeze and thaw cycles.

Lakeview was turning today, but not open.  I assume this is anticipation of the weekend when Lakeview is scheduled to run for the first time this year.  Hopefully we will either get some new snow and cooler temperature or the snow surface will transition to corn in the next few days.

Enjoy you day.

Andy

You Have To Be Kidding…

Hello Skiers and Riders,

Is it possible that skiing progressed from one of the best, if not the best, day of the year, that was yesterday, to a sticky rain soaked snow pack in 24 hours?

The unfortunate answer is yes.  The weather moved from a sunny cold morning with snow packed tree limbs and boot high Alta powder, to a cloudy, warm, wet, and rainy sky.  I did not get out today, but friends indicated it was worse than poor on the hill.  I guess the groomed runs were okay, but off piste sounds dreadful.  Wet and sticky rain soaked snow covers the mountain.

We are hopeful that tomorrow will bring another drastic change for the better.

Enjoy your day,

Andy

And On The Last Day Of Winter ’11-’12…

The sun broke over Alpine Meadows today after a 109″ storm cycle. Alpine and Kirkwood are the apparent leaders in snow totals for the last week. There are some cry babies out there that say Alpine Meadows over-reported their totals, but we know better. It’s why many of us choose to spend our days at Alpine Meadows instead of other resorts. Sadly today, I choose to go to work instead of coming back to play. It was the wrong choice.

Alpine Meadows skier Jason Anderson captured some beautiful pictures today. High Traverse finally opened in full winter glory on the last day of winter.

High Traverse at Alpine Meadows 3/19/12

 

Here’s the view from the top of Roundhouse. It finally looks like winter at Alpine Meadows…

Lower Saddle and Keyhole

 

Welcome spring time. We hope you deliver more storms. We’re not ready to stop skiing powder yet.

Not Just Epic…All Time Top Ten?

The official report still shows 7 inches for today’s snowfall at Alpine Meadows. But the truth is, everyone agreed that this number was way under-reported. Here’s the view we arrived to this morning.

All indications were that this day was going to be something special. All chairs were ready for action within a few minutes of 9 am. On that first run from Roundhouse to Scott, we were getting face shots on Skadi Hill, which is not particularly steep. The love continued as we made a quick lap down Seldom Slides. The snow was the lightest we have seen this season. It was beyond Utah light…something more like Montana.

Although lines on the frontside weren’t terrible, we spent most of our time on the Sherwood side, where the lines never got past the RFID gates. It was lap after lap of all day freshies, with refills happening continuously. As Andy Wertheim reported, exposures in the area of Expert Short Cut, Shuttle Cornice, Rileys Run and the Bakery had filled in deep. At one point I noted that my fly was open because the snow was that deep and things were getting cold. Here’s the view from Ray’s Rut.

People today said that this day (and this weekend) was the best of the season. I’ll go a step farther and put it in my Top Ten days at Alpine Meadows.  We followed this guy down Alpine Meadows road at the end of the day. His license plate says it best.

It was still snowing at the end of the day. Tomorrow should be amazing too. Skip school, skip work and go ski or board!

Davis Souza Makes A Strong Showing At The FWT Snowbird Stop

Photo courtesy of the Freeskiing World Tour

Davis Souza made the strongest showing of Tahoe skiers at the Freeskiing World Tour Stop in Snowbird, Utah from March 15-17th. After 3 days of competition in the big mountain event, Souza placed 12th in the final standings, beating out a number of tour favorites and all other local competitors.

Davis made a name for himself on the 2nd day of the comp by inserting a switch component to his run and throwing in a switch rodeo 540 in on the money booter. Davis was nominated twice for the Sickbird Award during the comp. We still think his runs were definitely sick.

Davis grew up skiing at Alpine Meadows, including a short stint on the race team and a long career on the Alpine Meadows Freestyle Team. When not competing, Davis coaches the Sugar Bowl Freeride Team, but still lists Alpine Meadows as his home mountain. Congrats to Davis!

 

Here’s the video highlights from Day 1 of the competition. Yeah, Davis is the tall guy in the red pants and grey jacket