Showing posts from May, 2019

Weather or Not?

Well May has been an interesting ride with lots of wet and wild weather across the Sierra's. With some locations reporting up to 400% more than average for this month most of us have been under snow or rain most of the month and it has seemed almost non-stop on the Grey Bird Days. The silver lining is that it has kept the snow from melting off very quickly and there is still lots of snow available for sliding on. Unfortunately Squaw has closed KT and Granite Chief for the season which is a bummer... we could have ridden Granite Chief into the middle of next month the way it looks.

Mammoth on the other hand still has lots of skiing available and that may warrant a trip down South for many in the coming weeks. Mammoth has announced they plan on skiing and riding into August now so... Jesus, this IS the year to head South, right? Ski, swim, boat, fish and repeat. Sounds like a pretty good cycle.

In any event most of the world has been experiencing weather anomalies with a very warm …

South to Mammoth Mountain

It seems that whatever mountain we lay our skis on, the situation is the same... 99% of the people are on the same slopes and when they mostly go left off the chair... I tend to go right. The only tracks I really like to follow are the animal tracks... they will often lead you away from the party to where its nice and quiet and you can make your own way with only ravens calling down to you once in awhile.

Had a great couple days at Mammoth and now that Squaw is down to Friday through Sunday operations it may be time to head South. There was plenty of snow and they had lifts running from Cloud Nine to Chair 23 so there was plenty of terrain to check out. Had some fresh snow as well (this winter just cannot seem to let go) although one day it was definitely a "Dust on Crust" situation.

Whenever you poke around away from the crowds you are sure to find some freshies. Mammoth has a soft boundary so exploring off-piste is relaxing and you can be on your own pretty quickly and th…

Mayuary... what the heck is going on?

Daniel Swain of Weather West said it best when he asked "What the heck is going on?" Although late season storms are fairly common in late May and early June in the Sierra's and the Carson Range the duration and intensity of our current storm cycle is quite unusual. If you jumped the gun and planted anything outdoors in the Truckee Meadows you know what I mean. Late tonight the NWS is calling for the snow level to reach down to possibly 5000 feet. Oh lord. I'm kinda done with the cold and wind. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I still believe in the Doug Coombs quote "There is no such thing as too much snow, but, jeez, there does seem to be too much cold and wind and clouds for May, at least to my liking. I kinda was hoping for some spring skiing... y'know, sun and blue skies and soft consistent snow till noon and all that. Not gunna happen, not for while anyway.

Remember when we would get blue skies with storms wedged in between for a day or two …

Happy Birthday Sven... here's a couple of feet of pow at Squaw Valley for ya...

It shall remain one of the best birthday gifts of all time...  new snow blown in knee deep in places and great wind buff in others with more snow falling in between crystal clear blue skies followed by a boatloads of cumulous clouds in a spring mountain sky ballet. From 8 to 4 (KT-22 staying open longer due to it's last weekend of operation, hoorah) let us ski till our legs were jelliefied. From one end of the resort to the other and a little beyond in spots, we hiked for new freshies every run venturing further as the day wore on to access tree stashes and ridge runs where others dare not follow uphill, over logs, rocks and stumps to find the goods. Our last run was along the ridge East from KT all the way to the last tracks... and then a little further coming down under the Far East Express and the old Olympic 90 meter jump run-out then walking straight to the Cornice Cantina for cold beer and nachos with some friends. Really, its hard to imagine a better day than that. Thanks …

European Skiing Still Happening

Andermatt's Gemstock lift unload is showcased in the photo above and the snow is still coming if you are in the mood for a quick hop across the pond for some end of season pow. They are looking at fresh snow this week and have had a banner year already. If you go please bring along a large duffle bag with room for me!


Almost forgot... the Employee Ski Day Party Returns to the Mountain!

Jim Najima (pictured above) proud of his step into womanhood... the employee ski day was the perfect place to really be yourself with no holds barred... good luck with the estrogen treatment Jim... looks like its really coming along.

Rose returned to the Employee Ski Day Plus One this year after last year's Drunkfest and Vomitorium didn't prove sustainable and I happened to be invited and felt obliged to share some pics with you of the festivities. It was still wild and woolly but this year focused on skiing instead of overindulgence. It was time for emps and their spawn to let loose and have some fun. Great awards were given to deserving employees by their respective managers including the coveted Golden Shovel Award. On tap was great skiing, some pretty amazing costumes and (although I didn't think it was possible) a picture of Beth actually sitting and enjoying herself without a tray or a clipboard in her hand. The Ski Pimp, Jimmy and a Squid were among others electing…

Squallywood, Alpine and Mammoth a good ski bet right now...

Ample snow remains at Alpine, Squaw and Mammoth. Alpine will remain open on a Friday through Sunday schedule through May while Squaw and Mammoth are promising skiing into July. Both of the latter are operating seven days a week through Memorial Day at this point with limited operations thereafter. With Rose's early closing this makes the Ikon Pass a pretty good bet for now plus access to many other resorts next year with such big names as Jackson Hole, Big Sky and a host of others.

Went over for the Cushing Classic Pond skim and I gotta say the skiing was superlative this weekend with KT-22, Siberia and Granite Chief all operating providing plenty of opportunity for some steeper riding and skiing. The pond skim itself is surely the Royal Crown Jewel of events at Squaw. It was opened with the National Anthem done Hendrix-style on electric guitar from the inrun with an American Flag waving and finished with the same Hendrix coverman rocketing down the inrun at 40 mph while trailing…