According to the calendar, we’re only one day into Spring, but today we felt the apparent changing of seasons for what must be the 10th time this season. Immediately following this weekend’s storm that brought us up to 5” of fresh snow, we’re right back to springtime conditions this week.
We arrived to Alpine just before noon today, well after the fresh wintery snow from this weekend had turned to rather Spring-like slush. Upon first inspection, we could tell we arrived too late in the day to get much use out of Sherwood, which had been baking out in the warm sunshine all morning. We decided to take Summit Express to Wolverine Bowl, which, even in these early days of spring, stays out of direct sunlight for a significant part of the morning.
A nice little cornice drop had set up into the top of Wolverine Bowl, making for an exhilarating start to what became our favorite run of the day. Even here, on a rather steep north-facing aspect, the snow was wet and heavy by mid-day. As we descended Wolverine into Boomerang, the snow became much slower as the sun melted away any fresh snow we accumulated over the weekend.
We dipped into the Gully near Kangaroo Ridge. Although the snow was slow and sticky here, avoiding any unnecessary turns allowed us to blast out of the gully on some outstandingly fun side hits, sending us either deeper down the gully or up onto Kangaroo Ridge.
After lapping this run for a couple of hours, we finally unloaded Summit Express to the left. We dropped into Alpine Bowl, which, similar to Wolverine Bowl, was wet and heavy, but not quite as sticky. Once again, the run flattened out and the snow became sticky as the sun continued to melt away any exposed aspects on the mountain.
Deciding to stay off any snow that had been in the sun all day, we dipped into Hot Wheels Gully. The tree cover overhead made for some slightly faster snow through the gully before we were forced to skate over the *very* slow flats of Tiegel below.
Early bird gets the worm this week, as overnight lows will hover right around freezing before the Spring sun warms our slopes well into the 50’s, and even into the 60’s later in the week. Expect firmer conditions early in the morning, quickly softening up in the warm temps and sunshine during the day. We should have a solid week of good Spring skiing and riding before another possible storm comes through Tahoe early next week.