It Snowed…Kind Of Snowed

It looked like snow but felt like rain…note the lack of snow sticking to cars!

We were obligated to at least try skiing today, even though we knew it might not be so good. With a couple of inches of new snow showing on the remote sensors this morning, it seemed plausible that there could be some interesting cream cheese skiing to be done.

Temperatures climbed as you went up Alpine Meadows road, reaching 34° in the parking lot when I arrived. Although it did look like snow was falling from the sky, the fact that it was not sticking to vehicles or trees is a sign that you’re about to be wet.

Visibility at the top of the mountain looked non-existent, and with 65 mph wind gusts, I headed to Roundhouse. Fortunately some areas of the mountain were groomed just before opening. Rock Garden and Dance Floor and Weasel skied like warm butter, as long as you didn’t stray off the edge of the run. Where there was an accumulation of new snow, amounting to a few inches, it was like skiing into a patch of Elmer’s Glue. We watched people attempting to ski Charity and Yellow today and things would look fine for a turn or two, and suddenly they would be doing the “herky jerky head bob maneuver” as they suddenly hit a sticky patch.

That’s what it looked like “through the goggles” today…

We are guessing that the snow was better higher on the mountain, but visibility was non-existent. More than one employee cautioned that it was vertigo inspiring up top. That said, Summit did spin all day, even with gusts running 55-75 mph throughout the day. Go figure, because most of the upper mountain was closed at Squaw Valley, and the Sierra Crest sensor was showing about the same winds there.

It was a five run day for me. There are definitely people that toughed it out longer and probably really enjoyed themselves, and that’s okay too. I got to spend some time chipping a month’s accumulation of ice out of my driveway while the rain was loosening it up a bit. Mission accomplished.

Here’s the weather update in brief:

• Snow should return tonight. Snow levels should start around lake level tomorrow and drop to about 5500 feet by tomorrow night. 1-2 feet of snow is expected. That will make the weekend commute people a bit frustrated…

• Winds may continue to be a problem for Friday and maybe into Saturday, according to the Euro forecast.

• We’re back to the idea of another storm Sunday into Monday staying reasonably cold and all snow. Again, the Sunday commute may be challenging.

• The warm AR event now is pushed into the Tuesday-Thursday timeframe. Rain amounts have been upped and snow levels still look to go above resort levels except for Mount Rose.

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