What a difference a day makes. I left my house 2.5 hours later than yesterday and was still able to park in the very first part of Lot 3. I feel blessed to now be a part of the crowd that can make it happen mid-week. There was no rush to get out there onto a lift and when I did, it was a day of lazy laps and corduroy.
The weekend warm up definitely did a number on off piste runs, with the exception of pure north facing terrain that never sees the sun. So the groomers were “the thing” today and it was my game to find those last little bits of untracked corduroy. For the afternoon, I even ran a few laps on the Chair To Nowhere. Usually it’s a cold 13 minute ride. But today, the temperatures were in the high 40’s and that big ball of fire in the sky made it tempting to nap on the chair for each lap rather than catching up on email.
There’s one more day of spring-like conditions for Tuesday, which is not quite going to be enough time to get any good mid-winter corn development, Wednesday will bring some increasing clouds, cooler temperatures and a chance of dust on crust.
The real storm action is slated to move in overnight Wednesday and remain in place through late Friday. Here’s the Winter Storm Watch that was released today:
...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH
FRIDAY EVENING ABOVE 7000 FEET...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RENO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH ABOVE 7000 FEET, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING
THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING.
* TIMING: SNOW WILL BEGIN TO MOVE INTO THE SIERRA LATE WEDNESDAY
EVENING WITH PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW CONTINUING
THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 1 TO 2 FEET. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ALONG
THE SIERRA CREST.
* WINDS: SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST 15 TO 25 WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH. SIERRA
RIDGE GUSTS OF 80 TO 100 MPH.
* SNOW LEVELS: STARTING AROUND 6000 FEET WEDNESDAY EVENING, RISING
TO 7500 FEET THURSDAY. SNOW LEVELS WILL FALL TO AROUND 6500 FEET
* IMPACTS: TRAVEL WILL BECOME DIFFICULT DUE TO SNOW COVERED ROADS
AND LOW VISIBILITY ACROSS SIERRA PASSES. AVALANCHE RISK IS
LIKELY TO INCREASE AS WELL WITH DANGEROUS CONDITIONS FOR BACK
You should definitely note the possibility for high winds on Thursday and Friday. In our ongoing mission of education, it would be reasonable to expect holds on the upper mountain if ridge winds are anywhere near 80-100 mph. You also may note the possibility of snow levels near 7500 feet for Thursday, which would lead to some very soggy ski conditions. You may want to consider that as a day to curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace. With snow levels at 6500 feet on Friday, it would be reasonable to guess that this will not be the light powder dump that will be advertised by TV media. It should do a good job at refreshing the base and covering moguls.