Sure this hasn’t been the snowy start we had all hoped for (in fact, the Sierra Nevada Mountains haven’t seen a November and December this dry and warm since immediately following the Civil War – 1879. Ouch!), but we are keeping our faith for a Fabulous February, Miracle March and Awesome April. And when it comes – as soon as next week possibly – it’ll come in feet so be ready. Here is a primer on what Alpine has to offer when conditions permits:
Vast and varied off-piste terrain is accessible right off Alpine’s Summit chair, but a significant amount of the resort’s best stuff is accessed by side stepping and traversing the ridges. The topography makes it easy.
“F-Tree is great because you can drop north or south off the top depending on the conditions,” says Scott Hanichen. “For such a short hike, you get a really long run.”
Alpine Meadows has an open boundary policy. In fact, the only part of the boundary that is closed is where it abuts the private property of White Wolf.
“I hit Outer Outer early on powder days because it’s south facing,” says backcountry skiers Lynn Kennen, “and in the spring the corn softens up nicely.”
Naturally, backcountry skiing should always be approached with extreme caution. If you are not familiar with the mountain or need a backcountry buddy, the Alpine Resort Guides are available to lead groups to the lesser-traveled parts of the mountain.
Most of Alpine Meadows is sparsely treed so you get the benefits of depth perception on stormy days. A couple spots to check out during that next whiteout are Deer Camp (skier’s right after getting off Summit chair, bear right under Keyhole and across the flats, duck into the trees near the top of Terry’s Return and you are in Deer Camp) or off the Scott chair.
“The trees off Scott are my favorite at Alpine,” says Oscar Havens. “It doesn’t matter where you go, they are good long runs and it’s all really fun.”
Alpine has long been praised for its family friendliness. The mellow atmosphere, coupled with expansive, moderate, easily accessible terrain have been a draw for families for years.
Six-year-old ripper Jared Gur loves Hot Wheels Gully because, “it’s just one big, long, fun halfpipe through the woods where I go up and down the sides and my mom can’t keep up with me, but I can hear her yelling, woo hoo!”
Fun for All
No matter what types of terrain you prefer, everyone should head to the Ice Bar (at the bottom of Sherwood Run) , an idyllic setting for a snack or a drink with family and friends.
“I can’t think of too many places I’d rather have a beer,” says Mike Vaughn. “After skiing all day, The Ice Bar is the perfect spot to hang out with friends and enjoy the view.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Guest post provided by our friends at Alpine Meadows