Winter Returns?

A solid 24 hours of rain in the basin have produced...absolutely nothing in the local mountains. That looks to be the case after browsing the sites of Mount Baldy, Mountain High, and Snow Summit ski resorts. Why no snow? We didn't even bother to turn on our heater during this storm. Temperatures were unnaturally warm, offering nothing but rain in the mountains until 9000 feet or higher.

Of course there's always Mammoth to rely on, reporting 11 new inches of snow this morning and no doubt a very nasty drive, as temperatures are starting to drop with a new round of storms coming. Snow levels should edge down below 5000' in Owens Valley. Good news on this storm cycle is that the early, dense wet component is likely to build up a nice stable base for future accumulations. As always, avoid the backcountry during and immediately after storms, and pay close attention to ESAC's avalanche forecasts.

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents