With all the threads on the lack of snow blues in the east,I thought we could at least try to imagine the BOUNTY they have had in Alaska in December.Alyeska reported 283 inches for an all time record.Just think of it,an average of over 9" a day for a whole month straight.WHEW!And their previous record was 271' in Jan 01.Makes the rockies snowfall tally look small.Keep the faith y'all.
Needless to say,the patrol must have their hands full,up to their eyeballs.Has anyone ever had the good fortune of having skied Alyeska?I noticed they are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.Good thing they have "night"skiing!
I skied Whistler Blackcomb around Christmas when they were reporting a base of around 100 inches. Great trip for both skiing and sightseeing. The ski-to-sky highway is amazing. But until probably a half hour before you get to Whistler on the highway, there is still no snow.
There is an enormous difference in snowfall between the bottom of the mountain and the summit. The base, incidentally, is one of the lowest in the world -- I think it's 187 feet above sea level. Alyeska might also be one of the if not the closest ski areas to the ocean. Turnagain Arm, a branch of Cook Inlet, is constantly in view from the slopes. It's a black sand beach area, and when the tide is out the view is of black sand and mud flats. The visual difference between the snow and the tidal flats is remarkable.
The skiing at Alyeska is varied and interesting. There is a tram that shoots up from the Alyeska Princess hotel, but it serves very steep skiing. The best skiing is from midmountain up on open intermediate slopes. Lower slopes can be hardpacked and icy, a lot like the Pac NW, if they go a day or two without snow.
hasta el nieve -- mais il n'y'pas niege!