A Season to Remember!!

Until the next storm...

There have been quite a few early morning BOOMS and windows rattling this season! It will no doubt be one to remember!

Alyeska has received more dry powder storms this season than many locals can remember. This past month, I had the best 2 ski days EVER! I have heard similar comments from a number of folks.

It seems as though snow has been a common gift on holiday mornings this season. Valentine’s Day was no exception. How does 30” of snow overnight sound?

Sometimes this place blows my mind… Since February 1st, (that’s 23 days!!!) Alyeska has received 214” of snow. 18 out of the last 20 days we’ve had precipitation. We have already surpassed last years’ TOTAL snowfall and are pushing the 600”mark. WOW!

It’s amazing to watch features on the mountain disappear as more snow piles on top of them. Check out Gear Jammer next time you ride up Chair 1—the bulges are pretty much gone!

Large amounts of snow also change how avalanches run though their natural paths. As run-outs fill with snow, fewer features are exposed that can slow down avalanche speeds. This enables slides to run farther and faster-check out the photo of the avalanche out of Headstone (Howitzer produced) on Valentine’s Day morning. The debris made it into the canyon!

Sometime on the 14th prior to control work while the resort was still closed, a huge natural avalanche occurred on the Monies. The estimated height of the largest crown was 12–15ft (see photos of the crown and debris below).

Often times, big storms produce high winds. Wind can load slopes up to 20% faster than a heavy snowfall. When these storms hit Alyeska, keep in mind what ALL mountain departments have to deal with- shoveling, chair lifts swinging, heightened avalanche danger... and bear with us when there are delayed openings.

Big thanks to Kevin Wright for sharing his Valentine's Day photos of the control work that morning.

Until the next storm...

Leave a Reply