2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64
Be Careful What
You Wish For.
You Might Just Get It!
First it was measured in inches,
then in feet, and finally, in stories!!!
After years of scant snowfall and spotty
coverage on many slopes, skiers and boarders
had an historic season at California ski resorts. From the Sierra Nevada to the mountain ranges of SoCal, the state was bombarded
with numerous storms dropping over 600
inches at several resorts during this epic season. That's over 50 feet! The tremendous
dumps were beneficial in many respects. Between storms, there were unbelievable powder days. Unfortunately, there were also days
when the resorts had to stop operations because the lifts were buried, visibility was impaired and the roads to the resorts were impassable.
But, we were blessed in the 2016 - 2017
ski season by the snow gods. Since conditions
were so fabulous, many resorts extended their
season well into late spring, and beyond. It's
a rarity to be skiing over the Fourth of July in
the Northern Hemisphere. But, it was even
more unique to be skiing into August!
photo provided by Jo Simpson
A very rare opportunity indeed: Vin Keenan
skied about 25,000 vertical on August 3, 2017
at Mammoth Mountain. The more vertical rocks
were bare, but there was still runs to ski.
photo provided by Vin Keenan
For years, the Lake Tahoe Area was concerned about the lack of snow. The winter of 2016 - 2017 put
an end to that! The first photo was taken at the top of Mt. Rose Highway at 9,100 feet. The ski rack in this
photo measures just over seven feet. This accumulation was only through January 30, 2017. Mt. Rose Ski
Tahoe resort received over 460 inches of snow, through the month of January. Its average snowfall is about 350
inches for the entire ski season. And, there were several more months left in the season for more snow to fall!
The second photo was taken on January 17, 2017. For those familiar with the Nevada side of Heavenly
Ski Area, you'll recognize the information hut and trail signs at the upper station of the Dipper Lift. The tops
of trees are very visible. The posts stand out for skiers and boarders to locate the hut, if desired. Many ski
areas in the Lake Tahoe region, including Heavenly, were covered in over 23 feet of snow in January alone.
The barrage of storms to the area resulted in the snowiest January on record in the Tahoe area.
The bottom photo is shot from the same location as the middle photo. The real information hut is buried,
along with the fencing and signs. Most of the trees are also buried. But, the hut is not lost. On February 14,
someone drew an outline of the building in the snow where the building actually sits. photos / Vin Keenan
So, what can we look forward to for the
2017 - 2018 ski season? Weather is very hard
to predict, but historically, it is not normal for
seasonal conditions to repeat. According to the
2018 edition of The Farmer's Almanac, winter
in the west will be colder and not as wet as
last year - thus returning to more normal conditions. However, since the higher elevations
in the Tahoe region have had their first snowfall in early September of this year, who knows?
Just prepare! Tune up those skis, wax those
boards and make plans to go to the slopes. ss
Far West Skier's Guide 2O17 - 2O18 / See the Digital Edition of the Far West Skier's Guide at www.fwsa.org.