Current Conditions

January 30, 2009

Winter Back on Vacation

Well that didn't last long! Long range forecasts suggest a return to our non-winter winter: warm and dry. Conditionally locally look pretty bleak. I haven't heard of anyone finding good snow in the SoCal mountains. It may be getting difficult to find snow at all. I was hoping to drive up to the Gabriels to see what's up there this weekend, but finally got nabbed by a nasty cold, so the only adventures I expect I'll be having this weekend are with a tissue box.

In the Sierra, reports are for very thin coverage south of Mammoth, but good skiing from Mammoth north to about Bridgeport, with 60" or so of coverage. The last storms brought a melange of precip, including a formidable rain event. Today's ESAC report suggests a great deal of variation by elevation, with at least a few lurking instabilities to think about.

If this winter goes similar to last, the key to good skiing will be finding those areas in the Sierra that support deeper, smoother snow. I haven't heard anything from the Tahoe region, though I suspect the rain may have done more damage up there, because of the lower overall elevation profiles. Have a great weekend everyone—and go Cardinals!

  1. Scott says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if I should just hang up the skis for this year. I know it’s likely we’ll get some in February, but it’s still depressing right now.

  2. Andy says:

    Losing the local option is a real blow to the morale. Plus it makes it much harder to feel confident about taking on big projects up north. I think for me, I’ll be scaling down my ambitions and looking for safe & easy terrain to explore in those parts of the Sierra where snow can be found. Just get on snow–that’ll be the goal. Maybe Twin Lakes? Virginia Lakes? June Mtn?

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.