After receiving nearly 80” of snowfall in November, early December’s frightful weather diminished the snowpack and prevented Eaglecrest from opening last weekend.
Like everywhere in Southeast Alaska, Eaglecrest was subjected to incredible amounts of rain, warm temperatures, and strong winds, all of which contributed to significant snowmelt across the entire mountain and reduced the base snowpack from 30” to 7”.
The mountain’s higher elevations fared better, but rocks, bare spots, and other hazards persist as high as Easy Bowl and Ptarmigan Chairlift’s unloading terminal. West Bowl had numerous and deep avalanches, the largest we’ve seen in recent years. [Watch a video here]
Before Eaglecrest can open, we need more snow to replenish melted areas. The forecast shows a chance of scattered snow showers over the weekend, nothing big, but we are expecting cold temperatures to return.
Mountain operations staff are preparing for a large scale snowmaking run on the Hooter Chairlift, using the pump house and pipeline installed in 2018. There will be snow guns, hoses, cables, and staff all over, so the Sourdough trail will be closed. Please use an alternative route to hike, ski tour, or split-board.
As we continue to wait on chairlifts, Eaglecrest offices are open Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Ski Shop is open for repairs and your Christmas shopping needs. Please come up and test or print your season pass before the season starts. If you need to rent boots, skis, or snowboards, remember to get pre-fitted this season.
All visitors must first check-in at the outside ticket window. Reservations are required for rental equipment pre-fitting. Learn more about operational changes at skieaglecrest.com/covid19.
Photo: Chris Miller / November 2020