The tail end of the storm brought a sunny, blower powder day to both mountains, making for magnificent turns all day.
This blog was written by Ryan Williams.
The past few weeks of storms finished with a bang today: 9”-15” of new snow, cold temps, and visibility improving throughout the morning turning to an awesome sunny pow day. We took advantage of the conditions, riding both mountains. From the morning at Palisades – first tracks Olympic Lady, to an afternoon at Alpine – golden hour pow on Estelle and Bernie’s.
Walking to the lift it was awesome to see the clouds break briefly and the sunshine on the peaks, showcasing the amazing conditions ahead for the day. Seeing the Lighttowers glowing in the morning sun on Headwall, maybe today we’d be riding the classic KT to Headwall pow day tour. KT was looking prime, from the fingers to Olympic Lady. It was go-time. The mountain ops and patrol crushed it this morning, opening the lift at 8:52 – thank you.
It was rad watching our friends from the KT chair hit the big lines and drops, from The Nose Chutes to the Fingers – Aaron Fox, Noah Gaffney, and others.
We went to Olympic Lady for first tracks, heading to one of our favorite chutes off the top down to Waterfall. The snow was incredible. Cold blower pow, just over a foot deep. The layer beneath was still a bit hard, keeping the gears in control, it was still incredible to open up…the turns were amazing, the drops awesome and the face shots all time. The spines and drops around Waterfall were a blast with the new snow.
The pow held great on Olympic Lady for three laps, then it was off to Headwall via Rock Garden. The conditions in Rock Garden were fun, a bit less deep than in Olympic Lady, but still deep in spots.
It was so great to see this lift running again, especially on a pow day as the sun came out. It was a tough call to wait in line for the lift to open while watching Tower 16 open. Fortunately, the lift opened around 10:40am and it was looking all time on the way up.
We headed to The Slot and were fortunate enough to be some of the first in and found some great snow, top to bottom full-throttle pow riding. There were a few spots that had slid from the avalanche control work, however from The Slot to C2 terrain, the snow was cold, deep, and fast. It was awesome watching and hearing everyone cheering as they ripped down. Stoked to have made the choice to hit this.
From Headwall we jammed to Big Blue and ventured out to another one of our favorite zones – Broken Arrow. We got there about an hour after they opened and were hyped to find an amazing untracked line and drop, loaded with fresh cold pow. With the cold temps today, it was so great to have blower pow in Broken Arrow post 11 am – usually, it gets baked by then when the suns out on a pow day. We dropped in at 11:30am and it was just as good as 9am on Olympic Lady. Love this zone.
It was awesome to watch our friends shred this zone, filming for Teton Gravity Research – Connery Lundin and Scott Gaffney.
Alpine – Summit Chair
With the awesome conditions and finale to the storm train, we headed over to Alpine for the afternoon to get the most out of the day and the terrain of the two mountains.
Before heading up Summit, it was awesome to take a few groomer laps on Kangaroo and ride with the local High School snowboard team and their Coach Tom Burt. He is a legend in snowboarding and an amazing coach, sharing his knowledge with the youth. The snow on the Kangaroo groomer was soft and velvety. Perfect for their race training. It was fun to help set their course and take a lap.
From the top of Summit, we jammed out Wolverine Saddle to the entrance to the hikes out to Beaver, Estelle, and Bernie’s. Getting out to each of the bowls is well worth the hike, and for getting pow in the afternoon or days after a storm.
We took the venture out to Estelle and Bernie’s. At the top, we got to watch a few sweet lines and drops get had, then we headed out to our favorite wave and fun zone around Bernie’s. The snow in the shade stayed cold, just like the morning – blower pow. Once we made it into the sun, the crust had started to form on top of the pow – I found this out dropping a 30’ cliff where the take-off was cold pow but the landing got baked. It was still deep and fun. Such a great run to finish an incredible day of riding two mountains, on the storm train caboose pow day.