All that snow to ski on

Skiing in powder at SAT

Powder day at SAT March 2017
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

This last week saw the closing of most of the resorts in and around Lake Tahoe. It’s not for lack of snow though. It’s expensive to run the resorts. Predictably, when the sun comes out in the valleys, skiing and riding just aren’t on the top of the list anymore. Economics drives the entire industry.

Sierra-at-Tahoe stopped operations on Sunday, April 23. April 24 was their annual Customer Appreciation Day. Deep discounted lift tickets with proceeds funneled to various Tahoe area youth sports. They’ve always been generous supporters of the Tahoe community.

Kirkwood, Hope Valley Outdoors are closed as well. The list goes on. The only resorts staying open right now are Mt. Rose, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and for just a short time more, Heavenly. For most people that means a bit of a longer drive. Spring conditions will prevail of course.

Was it a good season? How about a snowpack of 300% of normal, which would mean “Yes”. Skiers and riders enjoyed multiple powder days, deep snows, stunning conditions. For most, it was a long season, and for some, an even longer one.

The XC and backcountry crowd still have plenty of places to ski. It looks very much as if they will continue to be able to enjoy the snow through May. It’s likely that there will be snow in the mountains till next season. Just look for north facing slopes.

Expect to run into snow when hiking above 8,000 feet through summer. Wildflower blooms in the Carson Pass area will be delayed. Till when? When the snow has melted, which will take a while. Maybe by late July or early August they’ll start to pop up. At lower elevations the blooms will come earlier, and will most likely be stunning.

Backcountry travelers should be extremely aware that avalanche conditions will continue to exist. Sierra Avalanche Center issued their last advisory and observations for the season on April 23. Stay away from any area that even remotely has avalanche characteristics.

Travel into the mountains and enjoy the continuing seasonal transition. Take a lot of common sense with you.

 

 


Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow