The excitement starts for a POW day the night before when all eyes are glued to NOAA.gov and different radar images and models, possible outcomes and expected snow totals. There is no better feeling then knowing you’re in the direct path of a huge snow storm and you’re only worries are about first chair and what terrain will be open. For local skiers and riders that was the reality of last Sunday morning. Alyeska visitors we’re being treated to the second night of Leftover Salmon at the Sitzmark. As the band was jammin’ their most popular tunes the crowd was dancing and the snow started falling, hard. The falling snow got the crowd even more energized as the show continued on.
By the next morning Girdwood was looking at 18″ of fresh POW and the echoing of avalanche bombs exploding was all the inspiration those who partied at the Sitzmark the night before needed to get out out of bed and suit up for a day on the mountain. The bottom of Ted’s Express chair was packed by 10 a.m. with anxious skiers and riders waiting for the OK to load chairs and race up the mountain for first tracks of the day. It was very apparent that the reported 18″ was correct even at the top of Ted’s was reached which sent all the traffic to Glacier Bowl Express where the snow totals could be even higher. From the top of GBX the snow was still a consistent 18″ but there were certainly pockets and zones that were way deeper than that, like all of South Face which was considerably deeper given the direction of the wind from the night before.
Alyeska Resort athlete Jason Scheben met up with the local crew from Hage Photo to get some shots of blasting through the fresh POW all over the mountain. One phrase that kept being repeated that day was constancy, the mountain was skiing and riding well on all aspects and elevations, meaning that the south facing slopes on the mid-mountain were skiing like the west facing slopes up top. It’s great to get out on POW days like this, everywhere you look you’ll see smiles and hear stories about past runs, lines and plots for the next few runs and even though the snow gets tracked it’s still, light, soft and chargeable.
After the team of Hage Photo and Jason Scheben spent hours on the mountain and making lap after lap on GBX the crew decided to call it a successful day and headed to the Sitzmark for apres beers and food to reflect on one of the first real POW days of the season. Check out the more of the Hage’s photos at http://hagephoto.com/