Over the past 72 hours, we’ve received 17 inches of much-needed snow. (There was that dusting of 5″ or so last week, but this was our first substantial snowfall in more than a month). This precipitation is important not just to keep us going in the winter, but to replenish our water supply in Lake Tahoe for the summer and fall.
This storm was very, very cold, bringing in light-density snow that differs from our usual heavy snowpack. The cold temperatures prevented any serious icing issues with on our chairlifts. You may remember that our big December storm cycle came in closer to 32 degrees, which created icing challenges across the board. Thankfully, that was not the case here, and this little refresh has helped us get back on terrain that was previously closed for weeks.
We are entering another short dry spell through the rest of the week, but there is a slight chance of snow on Sunday, so plan any travel accordingly. There were some higher wind gusts (55mph or so) this afternoon, but it should mellow out to closer to 35mph for tomorrow. We expect all lifts to run.
The fresh snow is very light and cold, making for some great skiing and snowboarding. Some areas are windbuffed and deep; others have just a few inches of snow and you will feel some ice below. As things get skied out, you’ll see the old, firm snow poking through pretty clearly; it is not difficult to avoid. If you’re curious about what spots have been the best and want more info on daily conditions, check out our new conditions report. We’re posting these as often as possible (at least five times a week) so you know where to go to get the goods.
It is also extremely cold on the upper mountains. The mountain is feeling more like Vermont than California: We have temperatures in the single digits with gusts of northeast wind pushing the windchill into -15 or -20. This is a very cold period for us. Please dress warmly with base layers, good gloves, waterproof outer shells, and neck/face coverage.
Lift, Terrain, & Conditions Updates:
- No new lifts have opened, but all of that off-piste terrain that has been closed for more than two weeks has been reopened. This should help you spread out on the mountain, and it has alleviated congestion in busy areas.
- Summit and Siberia may have wind impacts. Our ridgelines are getting a bit stripped.
- Yellow is closed to the public for an Alpine Ski Teams training.
You do not need to stick to groomed runs anymore, but please ski or snowboard safely, knowing your ability level and leaving at least 15 feet of distance between you and your friends.
All photos taken by Kate Abraham, @kabrophoto.