Steep, challenging terrain, "in-bounds backcountry"
long lines, variable conditions
Alpental backcountry is an amazing experience. With steep, challenging terrain and a huge area to get lost in (just keep going down, but don't get stuck in the trashcan), Alpental is unlike anything else in washington, or anywhere else I've been.
When the snow is good, it is amazing. When it snows, it dumps. Of course then it can be hard to get to Alpental (I5 closed) or to the steep terrain (Lift 2 closed for avalanche control). But when it all works out, it is so worth it.
But the weather in WA is fickle, and Alpental is low, so they often get rained on, and it gets very icy. No fun!
The lines for Lift 2 are often long, as it is the only way to access the steep terrain. And without Lift 2, there really isn't much to be had a Alpental. You can have some fun, but it will be crowded and not steep.
If you're not advanced, or if there isnt recent snow, I suggest you head elsewhere. To Summit, or even better, to Stevens Pass or Crystal Mt.
There is no terrain park and no nightlife to speak of.