Perfect weather and great snow had Alpine feeling almost like it was spring and not the middle of December. Couldn’t have asked for a better day!
This blog was written by Rene Jerez
This morning I made a last-minute decision while driving from the south side of the lake to hit up Alpine rather than Palisades for a third day. This morning’s weather was warming up a bit and was hitting about 45 degrees which felt so nice as I could shed some of my layers. The sun was out with some occasional clouds, which helped to soften the snow up considerably, making for some great riding throughout the entire day! With the sunshine and warm-ish weather, it felt like your usual day of spring skiing in Tahoe. As I had a total blast last week shredding the Alpine backside, I decided to head there first to start my day. I chatted with some of the lift operations crew with whom I shared a chair on the Treeline Cirque lift, and found out from them the Lakeview chair had hard and fast snow which was perfect since I was in the mood for more fast riding like I’ve been experiencing the last few days.
I decided upon getting off the lift to get in some tree runs first. The trees in Sherwood are so chill and easy to ride through, with little to no tree wells or a steep pitch that makes it hard to stay in control. I love how the Sherwood trees are completely moss-covered, and on a post-storm day, it’s great seeing all of the snow slowly melt and fall to the ground. The shade in Sherwood was helping the snow stay in great condition, and asides from fallen tree branches and pine needles, there were few hazards to be concerned about. After doing a few runs in the trees down onto Sherwood Face and Maid Marian, I felt it was time to head to the Lakeview chair!
Shredding over to Lakeview on Reiley’s Run, the views of the lake were absolutely phenomenal! Out of all the Lake Tahoe ski areas, I find Alpine to have the best lake views. The runs at Lakeview, as the lifties said earlier, were hard, fast, and absolutely perfect to shred on. Some of the trails from Lakeview were a bit low tide, but I’m sure as we get more snow (fingers crossed), it will cover them up more. Lakeview is known for being a bit more low tide compared to other areas on the backside like Sherwood and Scott, but thankfully it’s mostly just tree branches and exposed grasses, so it’s not the end of the world if you run over them. The Outer Limits run was my favorite to lap, and I got some serious speed there while also working on my carving skills. The groomers did a fantastic job on the runs here.
Another aspect of the Lakeview runs that I love is Mountain View as it drops you right into Scott Meadow which although flat, collects tons and tons of powder that if you have enough oomph going down the trail you can rip up that pow and for some reason, a lot of people don’t seem to go for. It’s easy to scope out from the chairlift and to chart your line back to the bottom return. I got in a lot of runs shredding up the pow even more, and it was still relatively nice once you cut up the crust that was starting to form. In past seasons I would hit the Scott Valley powder repeatedly, and I’m looking forward to coming back after Christmas and New Year to go there again. What I especially like about Scott Valley is it’s easy to pop in and out of back onto the groomed sections if you’re not getting enough speed, and it’s great practice to get better at riding on powder.
After a delightful lunch basking in the sunshine, I did a quick Roundhouse lap and then onto Summit Express to do some laps down Alpine Bowl. As the clouds were starting to come in, Alpine Bowl and the lower mountain runs it feeds into were being shaded from the sun, which made the snow even more awesome. The packed powder on Alpine Bowl was stupendous, with nary an ice patch or hazard in sight and lots of pillowy powder stashes everywhere to fall into if you caught your edge. Alpine Bowl can get pretty icy depending on conditions, so it was really great to see it in top form today.
After my Alpine Bowl laps were done, I decided to switch things up and do some runs down through Wolverine Bowl. Unlike last week where Wolverine had boulder-sized moguls the grooming crew had groomed down the center of the run, Alpine Bowl was completely loaded with packed powder and snow that was just heavenly to do turns on. I really like how the runs further down the mountain from Wolverine, such as Charity, Boomerang, and East Runout, are perfect for picking up speed and that it’s super easy and quick to come back to the Summit for more runs.
The mountain was absolutely perfect today and there wasn’t anything more I could have asked for today. With a potential 2-inch snow shower tonight, guests are in for a treat tomorrow and for the Christmas weekend. I can’t wait to come back for more fun when the New Year starts!