We are just 9 days away from our summer grand opening, and we still have several feet of snow on the upper mountain.
But if you focus on the upper slopes, you’ll notice an unusual amount of white. Our Mountain Manager, Rob, offered to take me on a tour around the mountain today so I could document this rare summer snowpack.
I’ve never seen Aspen trees blossoming in the middle of a snowfield.
But the novelty and beauty of this late-season snow is not doing our mountain bike trails any favors. This is where the upper part of our main bike trail, Elk Trail, intersects Alpine. The trail is 3-4 feet below the snow surface.
This is where we unload the BlueBird Quad for scenic lift rides and mountain biking. Rob has started clearing this area so it will melt off and allow foot traffic to unload here starting June 30th. (That’s our Summer Chairlift Grand Opening, when you can get a ride up here for free. Check it out).
I think this is my favorite photo of the day.It really shows how deep the snow is.
This view, to the Southeast, shows Upper Payette Lake.
These will be great photo opps for our visitors, at least those who wear warm, sturdy boots that are appropriate for tromping through the snow. This is no place for flip-flops, so if you’ll be joining us over the Fourth of July weekend, please keep that in mind.
Enough of the lecture, now back to our tour. We next headed down Temptation from the summit. That’s the top of the Lakeview Lift over to the left.
The Lakeview runs (Springboard and Hot Shot) are just to the left of this big snow mound.
And this is where Elk Trail (summer) intersects Temptation (winter). As you can see, there are SEVERAL feet of snow remaining, even in areas that are exposed to a lot of sunshine. This is our main bike trail. We estimate of the 7 miles of Elk Trail, one mile is clear of snow at this point.
We have to descend a few hundred feet to find more bare spots. This is Temptation saddle. Looking back up the ski run, you can see the south-facing slope to the right has melted away, but spinning around and looking downhill…we found pretty solid coverage.
Here are some shots from a couple of other places you might recognize:
This is near the top of Engen. You can just see the Centennial lift tower in the background.
Check out the difference looking up from the bottom of Engen.
And my favorite comparison is this shot, taken from the base area today:
We estimate we’re about 3-4 weeks away from a full mountain melt-off. We will be opening our mountain bike trails as soon as we possibly can. But for opening weekend and until further notice, we’ll be offering scenic lift rides only. More info. We’ll keep you posted on trail conditions here on the SnowBlog and also on our Facebook page.
So we invite you to come grab some family photos and celebrate the beginning of summer in a truly unique way.