After this week’s massive snowfall, Granite Peak opens with amazing conditions.
This blog was written by Ryan Williams.
The past few days at Palisades have been absolutely incredible, with the huge new snow. From KT22 opening day to Broken Arrow popping yesterday, and today the opening of Granite Chief Peak. It’s full-on winter mode around the mountain, with terrain filling in amazingly.
What’s The Fastest Way To Granite?
That was a fun call this morning. Getting on the second Funi, it was a race to pick which chair: Gold Coast or Big Blue. I chose Big Blue and was hyped to roll right on up and stoked to rip down Shirly to be 3rd in the singles line on Granite just as they opened. Timing worked well.
Love this chair. The terrain it accesses, the vibe, the tempo. And when the hike to the peak is open it’s game on. On the chair ride up I scoped out some of my favorite lines under the chair but noticed many of the landings had been had (think a film crew was out here yesterday).
Seeing that, I planned to hit Granite Bowl to the magical glades below and the benches of incredible terrain. At the top, it was a surprise to see the peak already open for hiking. With Granite bowl untracked, I couldn’t resist a lap before hiking.
The snow in Granite bowl was incredible, like it had snowed last night. The cold temps at night have been preserving the snow so well. It was blower turns and a few drops with deep landings. Amazing. Then working across the flats to the benches below the Peak, this is some of the best terrain on the mountain for hitting chutes and drops, and getting into some big lines if you hunt. The first run was untracked top to bottom in the zone, so stoked to find it all days after a storm.
Granite Chief Peak
Hiking up the peak is incredible. It always goes faster than you think and the camaraderie is all time. At the top the panoramic view is amazing. And today, the hype at the top was watching a few friends hit it off the top ropes, dropping the big 40-foot cliff. So awesome to see this at this time of the year. From the top, dropping in the snow was amazing and deep. I hit a few drops and ripped the walls, however after a few turns down, the heat of the sun had really started to cook the snow. Time to find pow turns in the shade and north-facing areas.
The terrain below the Peak was awesome. Traversing out to the goods, I found fresh lines and drops in the ripping rolling terrain of Granite. The amount of vert and terrain you get in this zone always amazes me at the beginning of the year. Tastes like Silverado a bit. Can’t wait for more storms and more terrain to open.
It’s always a blast hitting Broken Arrow on the way home from Granite Chief. It was open yesterday so to find pow was going to be a hunt or a big traverse. Taking the hike up is always a treat to check out Silverado and get hyped. And once at the top, the view of the valley and Broken Arrow is incredible. The rocks in this part of the mountain are unique, like Flinstones — making it even more fun for exploring. The main bowl had been hammered, but the traverse out still had some pow in the gillies. As I ventured out, one of my favorite gullies still had a few spines holding pow, so I dropped in and it was awesome. North-facing wall to spine with blower pow. Such a nice way to finish the day, a few face shots and fun fully ripping in Broken Arrow.