Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ski Week Snow Forecast.

Main Street in Emigrant Basin is still full of gnar.
In short, this coming week one of the best of the season thus far.  You may even say it will be the best.  It just depends on what you prefer.  This current week has been pretty good if you like powder and don't mind a few storms.  Today and Monday both had fresh snow.  Tuesday had some perfect wind buff.  So that is not too bad by my standards.  But let's talk about the coming holiday week.

For starters, resorts have received between 8 inches and two feet of snow since Sunday night.  Finally, it is starting to really look like winter out there.  The forecast for today is cold sun.  Thursday and Friday will see some warming, but it does not look like we will top 40F at 8000 feet.  So, what that means is the north facing slopes that you typically find at resorts will keep the cold, squeaky, wintery snow.  Southerly facing slopes will start to see the snow turn toward a melt/freeze type surface.  But not too bad.  The forecast for this coming weekend is clouds and light, to possibly moderate snow.  Again, not too bad.  We could see a dusting to, with some luck, a foot of snow.  This is another one of those cut off systems that will be hard to forecast.  Slight shifts in its track will significantly alter our potential snow fall.  Still, this year, every single 1/4 inch counts.  Expect clouds for Saturday with snow flurries starting some time through the day.  Things could start to wind up Saturday night and into Sunday.  Then more flurries to start of Washington'e Birthday.  Clearing by evening.

Anyway, we have been getting snow this week already.  So that means it is fresh on top.  And we might get more this weekend.  More fresh.  Say goodbye to the hard park.  At least for now.

Have fun with what is out there.  This rock is usually just part of the snow apron.  

Keep checking the weather forecast to get a better idea of what this weekend has in store.  Even if we only get a few inches, it will keep that surface nice and powdery.  By Tuesday, another high pressure will be setting up over California.  As of right now, it looks like we will see sun through the rest of the week.  Things will start cool, but could get warm as the week progresses.  So, nice and wintery to start, with some spring like conditions possible by week's end.  Some time near the end of the holiday week we could see another series of storms starting to come into the coast.  So, again, watch the weather, and plan your departure accordingly.

The views from Kirkwood are astounding.  Behind the Sisters, and one route from Carson Pass to Kirkwood is Life on the Edge.

Every Tahoe resort is different.  Those with the lower base, you may want to stick a bit more to the upper mountain.  Things are still good below 7000 feet, but it does start to get a little thin and boney.  Some of the low angle hills, like Northstar are skiing well and filled in enough for most of there terrain.  OTOH, technical steeps like the Fingers at Squaw are still super gnar.  Be aware.

Stovepipe or Sally Alley are well filled to Emigrant Lake.
I've been skiing at and near Kirkwood since the January storms hit us.  Just in case you are wondering, coverage is fantastic up there.  If you are a groomer lover, then you never need to worry about hitting rocks or the such.  Off piste, it is still low tide out there, so play smart.  But where the snow has filled in (think chutes, gulies and dips) the coverage is great.  The only concerns are traversing across spines and rock ribs.  And the bigger lines are still huge and best left alone.  But, conversely, slopes that can get pretty boring come regular or deep snow pack coverage are super fun right now.  Lots of bumps and rolls to play around on.  Oh, and the backcountry, if that is your thing, is starting to ski great.

Carson Pass has its spots right now.  Same with other locations around the lake.  The best skiing will be on the mellower lines.  And any spot that naturally captures the snow.  Stability is, and will be, a bit of a concern with the fresh snow and windy conditions.  Slabs are forming on slabs.  Know what you are doing and check out the forecast with SAC.  And know before you go.  As in, carry the correct equipment, have the knowledge to use it properly and make good decisions.  There have already been a ton of avalanche fatalities this year.  The dragon is out there.  But so is a ton of fantastic snow.  So if it your thing, maybe think about venturing out for a few days after that resort snow gets packed into bumps.

This will be a awesome week to get up and get some.  So if you are on the fence, do it.  Enjoy your week, and hope to see your smiling face out there on the slopes.

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