Return Home

Alpental

May 11, 2022
Type : ski tour
Length : 3.7 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain : 2,390 ft.
High Point : 5,470 ft.

I saw the news that Alpental was opening for uphill traffic, and quickly found an afternoon where I could skip out of work a little early. My weekends were packed with other obligations, but it is easy to slip in a weekday tour up Alpental.

Scroll down to begin

I arrived at the parking lot and did the quickest car to ski tour ready transition in the history of Alpental spring ski tours - I had drank way too much coffee during the day and nature was calling. A quick walk across the Alpental bridge and I was on the snow and skinning up out of sight from the various people milling around Alpental Lodge.
I continued up at a more modest pace, but was feeling very sluggish and quite hot, with sweat dripping down my face. I think my five minutes of sprinting up the mountain might have bonked me! I wasn’t liking the skin track, so I broke my own, and after ten minutes, decided I needed to take a break and eat some food.
Mushy snow on the lower half of Alpental
Mushy snow on the lower half of Alpental
I cut back over to the existing skin track and kept moving up the mountain, but moved at a snail's pace. Eventually I passed the top of Armstrong and was treated to a nice view of Lake Keechelus. As I reached Edelweiss Bowl, I saw a couple of skiers coming down. They were skiing well, but the mushy snow definitely looked a little grabby.
Turns in Edelweiss Bowl
Turns in Edelweiss Bowl
Slowly but surely I made it up to the top of Chair Two. I think it took me around 1 hour and 45 minutes, which is by far the slowest I can remember ever doing it, especially considering it was Spring and there was a halfway decent skin track in. On the drive up, I had contemplated traversing across the top of Edelweiss Bowl and dropping down the backside towards Denny Creek. It was a fun line I had done a number of times during the year, but today certainly wasn’t going to be the day...
Looking down into Upper International
Looking down into Upper International
I transitioned to ski mode, and took the direct line into Upper International. The snow was mushy and my tired legs had a hard time consistently linking up turns. I cruised over the Adrenaline, and made my way down, taking a number of breaks. At this point, I was convinced I had Covid, as how else could I be this tired from just skinning up Alpental.
Turns down Upper International
Turns down Upper International
I finally caught somewhat of a groove skiing Lower International, making some decent turns in the mushy snow, but again had to take a number of stops along the way to catch my breath and rest my legs.
Lower I at Alpental
Lower I at Alpental
One last look at Alpental after my run
One last look at Alpental after my run
A very unsatisfying ski tour. I’m not sure why I was so exhausted, and after a good night's sleep, I felt fine the next day. At least I got out for one final mediocre ski tour for the season...