Showing posts from April, 2020

NO PARKING: THAT Means you Californicators!

Looks like everyone flocked to Sand Harbor on Tuesday to enjoy the first hot weather of the season but the rangers just weren't having it and closed the parking lot in the morning shutting out a LOT of people who wanted in. What did they do?

After being cooped up for the last 5 or 6 weeks. They said "Screw it" and parked in the no parking area on both sides of the Sand Harbor gate. The Nevada Highway Patrol didn't much like that and handed out expensive citations like confetti. Close to 70 citations were issued and some vehicles towed away if they obstructed traffic.

Rangers said that folks just couldn't social distance given the numbers coming in. I can verify that as we were paddling that morning but left around noon and the beach was getting pretty packed. I don't know the answer to this really but I am really glad the State Parks are open at all given the Covid situation. We'll need to get outside... one way or another!

My answer is the same as its al…

Mt. Baldy's Pirate Open and Skiing

Mt. Baldy continues to the the ONLY ski area open on the continent. Amazingly they opened without approval from the State of California or the County in which they reside. In an essentially Pirate open they have not been contacted by any government agency to shut down so their bull wheel continues to spin skiers up their mountain on fairly thin legal ice to do so. In this video you will see pretty good corn skiing available on the only lift serviced skiing in America.

As for me, I'll continue to earn my turns right here in the Carson Range above the cerulean waters of Lake Tahoe happy as a clam.


Sometimes a Chute Calls your Name

25 years ago I saw the Broomstick North on the Houghton Ridge while climbing Mt. Rose  and said "Man, I want to ski that." Its taken me 25 years to finally make the time to make that ski happen. It is not an easy place to get to for sure. But the Broomstick has become the stuff of ski legend over summer campfires with most discussions ending with "Yeah, we gotta get back there and do that." Well our time finally came and Peter Steinfelds (who has been recovering from a really bad snowboard accident for years) gave the green light and we headed out for a 15 mile epic. And it was.

The next time I look over to the West from a Mt. Rose climb I will do so with a different sort of smile. The smile of an expedition well done. Nothing like a mountain challenge to make you rise to the occasion. Nothing.


Mt. Baldy: First US Ski Area Reopens

Yep, you heard it right. Mt. Baldy has reopened in California, the first in the US and offers 2100 vertical feet of skiing with a base summit elevation of 8600 feet. They have many protocols in place to protect skiers who will be wearing masks, riding single on their double chairs (unless they know their fellow rider) and all restaurants and rentals will be closed. But, it IS an encouraging sign that things are a changin.

Hard to believe anyone from the Tahoe area would venture down to less than an hour out of Smell A but hey, desperate people do desperate things. Me, I'de rather just tool around on all the snow we've got right here and earn my turns. Plenty of fun to be had right here without having to venture down to Covid Mountain (sorry, couldn't resist, does have a ring to it)!

Guess I have really just learned to adjust to the lack of hassle, crowds and costs of resort skiing and have easily adjusted to just throwing my skis on and skiing where I want without signs, …

Looking for Lifts?

Norway's summer ski season is set to begin May 1, 2020 with Fonna Glacier Ski Area set to open with a whopping 50+ feet of snow on the ground. They won't be running short on snow, thats for sure but it has made getting into the resort tough for men and machines.

If you still just have to ride a lift to get a smile. This might be the place to go. They are anticipating full operations utilizing some social distancing protocol and are inviting the world to come and join them. Gotta say... it looks pretty darn inviting. Remember to wear your body condom!


Busted for Surfing Alone: WTF?

A lone surfer was busted for surfing Malibu which enjoyed a fairly perfect swell this week. Many law enforcement officers were called in addition to two boats which cut him off several times. It looked like they were after a dangerous criminal... not someone who was simply out enjoying the ocean while social distancing just perfectly. This is the kind of government over reach which foments public opinion against any government policy in response to the Covid 19 contagion. C'mon Gubment, can't you be a little more reasonable than completely stupid... you are shooting yourselves in the foot, with a shotgun!

The Mayor of Little Coronado Rich Bailey in a piece headlined "Can We All Agree That Surfing Should Not Be A Crime." says it best in the quote below:

"A viral video from earlier this week shows a lone surfer, in the ocean near La Jolla, fleeing the water as multiple law enforcement officials chase him down in a powerboat. As the surfer exits the waves and runs …

Its not one way or the other people: Break Glass: Use Brain

I have been hearing drum beats from both sides of the issue. "Opener back up, Don't Tread on Me, Covid 19 is a Hoax" and on and on. Toting guns on the steps of the capitol in Missouri or mounting a recall petition for Sisolak. On the other side are the people dumping sand in the skateboard parks in San Clemente and LA, making surfing illegal in San Diego and declaring all on snow activity illegal in certain Colorado Counties as well as closing off part of the National Forest lands in South Lake Tahoe. The shot of the man in scrubs just out from the hospital where people are dying blocking the parade of protesters honking their horns and wanting everything opened up was the image that did it for me. Come on America. We are better than this. Rather than a nationwide knee-jerk reaction can't we critically develop a plan for each and every state, municipality and region?

What we don't seem to understand is that this is not a black and white issue. It's not one wa…

USFS Shuts down part of National Forest Land: Please Stop Stupid

Credit: Forest Service
Due to the social distancing guidelines put out by the POTUS and the State of California the USFS has implemented a shut down of some federal lands and sites in the South Lake Tahoe area. This order was a response to groups of users not practicing social distancing in this area and continuing to congregate.  If we are not responsible the government WILL step in with regulation. Please act responsibly so that the USFS does not close down the rest of the forest with these draconian penalties in place... $5000 and $10,000 fines plus jail time... just for walking across a swath of land that is owned by the American People, you and me.  This week in Colorado there were eleven human caused avalanches. I'm sure closing off all land to skiing in Colorado is being discussed. in order for our public lands to stay open we need to NOT be stupid. C'mon people, I know many of you may not be able to do it for a lifetime but I am just asking for a couple months. Stop Stupi…

Go to the Mountains and Get their Good Tidings

Had a great tour today from Tahoe Meadows to Incline Village via Third Creek. It feels just so damn good to get away from the latest "Breaking News." If you are going a little crazy that might be why. Seek the mountains and they will clear your spirit while still practicing "Extreme Social Distancing."


USFS Approves Atoma Expansion

Yesterday the USFS Humbolt-Toyabie National Forest Supervisor has signed the final go-ahead document for the Atoma Expansion opening up a 100+ acres of beginner terrain across the highway and North of the main Rose parking lot.

The new Atoma Pod will be characterized by many gladed trails through this beginning terrain and will allow beginning skiers and riders to have their own dedicated area to play in the mountains away from more advanced areas where skiers and riders bomb past the beginners at highway speeds setting up a situation that led to many accidents over the years. Although not offering any new terrain for intermediates or advanced skiers, the move will depopulate the mountain somewhat on busier days by moving beginners over to their own dedicated area. A skier bridge will connect the new pod to the main skier area over Hwy 431.

And YES to all of you who have asked. The new lift will set up a situation where Sky Tavern skiers could access Mt. Rose Ski Area with the new lif…

C'mon People: With Great Freedom Comes Great Responsibility

I have been witnessing "Stupid is as Stupid Does" type folks getting into backcountry accidents that require Search and Rescue and medical treatment. Let me say once more this is NOT THE TIME to be screwing around in the outdoors and getting hurt. PLEASE do not involve yourself in activities where you risk needing first responders... believe it or not, they are kinda busy right now and don't need the threat of hauling your sorry ass out of the woods added on. Think with your big head instead of your small one and save "Pushing the Limit" for another time.


Steeps soft as Sloppy Joes

Spring has started to perform its magic loosening and mushing up the snow real nice. When will there be corn, you ask? Probably this week on S and W slopes I image if the warm continues. In between tho expect some very large pinwheels and potential slough slides in the chutes and else where on steeps that have not begun to melt off nearly enough. Yesterday there were pinwheels the size of truck tires which indicates TOO SOFT on the very steeps. If you do decide to ski them keep looking over your shoulder... they may be catching up to you.

Weight your options carefully and try to catch the snow when it first starts to melt, East facers are really nice in the morning when the subsurface is still frozen hard but the warmth of the sun has softened the top into a very nice skiable surface. As the shadows creep onto the East and North facers in the afternoon you can expect the crust to start hardening fairly quickly.

As in picking a ski mate (or a MATE for that matter, choose wisely is the …

Its Snow K to go Skiing!

Spring has sprung in the mountains with pre-corn conditions for the most part. Big roller balls and wet slides can be found in steeper slopes and mushy snow can be found where the sun is
warming it up into dense snow cone consistency. Early morning when the sun first hits its hard but will soften if its facing the sun into infinitely skiable snow. Real corn not quite yet up high but my bet is full South facers may be having it served up now or pretty soon. Remember your sunscreen, its bright out there. And its just warm enough to take a dunking into the lake at the end of the day if your feeling frisky.


GO HOME says Truckee residents to 2nd Home Owners

Truckee has a problem. It has a small hospital with 24 beds with a max of 44 if they push the walls out and start stacking. The problem: Truckee has been identified as a Corvid 19 Hotspot with nearly 50 people in Truckee testing positive. Since you can figure the actual number of those with Corvid 19 is two to three times that many... this could be bad news for the hospital and its limited resources. A quarter of the beds are already occupied by Corvid 19 patients and this comes early in the curve. As Corvid 19 rolled into town in the form of powder hungry skiers the last weekend the resorts were open and since then as a respite for Bay Area dwellers who have a second home in Truckee... the virus has been rolling through town and taking names.

The Town of Truckee has therefore asked all second home owners to return to their primary residences (mostly in the Grey Area) in order to protect the residents of the small town and assuring that residents do have an option for treatment shoul…

Sweden's Riksgransen Resort Still Open

There are currently three regions still open for Alpine Skiing, Japan, Iceland and Sweden. Iceland is limited and so is Japan which is experiencing an uptick in Covid 19 cases right now and also quickly approaching the end of their skiing season anyway. Of the resorts still open, Riksgransen in Northern Sweden has adjusted to the outbreak with their own medical team and protocol and is still spinning all of their lifts. With over 17 feet of snow on the ground they are not planning on closing anytime soon, says management. They are known for their off-piste late season spring skiing across Europe. They are following social distancing guidelines as set by the Swedish Government. They are confident they can manage the virus safely and still provide skiing. That being said, probably the most unsafe thing is getting there which requires some transportation adventures for sure. Before anyone submits shaming emails, remember, I am just the messenger. I am not condoning this choice, merely me…

If you don't know. Don't go.

I know its tempting. It always is.

I have witnessed over the last two storm cycles many skiers entering The Chutes and other steep areas in our mountain playground during moderate to high avalanche conditions. Many of those entering have no avy gear and apparently very little knowledge of ski and rider mitigation protocol and the inherent risks involved. Really? Who do you think is going to rescue you?

Please, please please, with all thats going on with Covid 19 be respectful of our First Responders and don't go if you don't know. To ski steeper BC terrain safely you must have the avalanche gear and more importantly the knowledge of how to use it as well as partners who can do the same as well as some sort of rescue plan should someone in your party get hurt. One group of boarders was even bragging about the slide they rode down in Yellowhjacket. Burial is not the only problem folks. Just a broken bone can cause a pretty big issue. Remember, YOU are your own ski patrol, medic …

April Powder (Virus Free)

A friend of mine quit posting ski pics due to public shaming... folks, this has gotta stop. Your fear or lack of motivation to get outdoors and do something healthy is not reason to slam the people that are. I can certainly see where staring at your four walls and the TV for a couple of weeks can drive folks crazy angry but still... you could go out. YOU and only you are responsible for your mental health. Social distancing doesn't get any better than a mile from the nearest other person. As I said earlier, go out, be fruitful (although you SHOULD be careful WHO you are "fruitful" with, of course). Skiing and sex have always been great partners in life (although there are those who will say you shouldn't do that either). Just remember to practice Safe Skiing and Safe Sex which means know and trust your partners in both endeavors.

Be reasonable and think for yourself. If you can recreate safely without getting hurt and with your family (whoever you perceive them to be…

Important Notice to all of you running out of Toilet Paper


More Detailed Storm Info

Winter Storm Warning Issued belies the fact that the storm is still on track starting Saturday afternoon with a short burst of snow from a fast moving storm system that will have moved on by Saturday night. Sunday and Monday the real fun begins as a much bigger and slower moving storm drops down and provides some cold powder in the mountains perhaps extending down into the foothills.

The charts are courtesy of Weatherwest. Chart one displays the number of inches of precipitation that is forecast (not snow but liquid water equivalent) and as you can see we are in the 3 to 4" area which translates to feet rather than inches of snow. The second chart illustrates the amount of snow in a six hour period and for us it is in the 6"+ category.

All signals are for a fairly robust storm by any standard with the typical accompanying winds. Expect avalanche conditions to increase substantially. With all our first responders needed elsewhere please remember to play it safe and resist the…

Winter Storm in April? You Betcha!

Coming to a Mountain Range Near You:

Trends from the National Weather Service are forecasting a stronger storm for this time of year this weekend and into early next week. There appears to be good chances for a foot to two feet of snow above 7000 feet between Saturday and Monday night. Of course things could change by tonight but the trend has been a stronger scenario with each forecast cycle over the last few days. Due to the lateness of the year, Reno metro may not be too effected too much but the mountains will certainly be.

If you plan to go out on your board(s) please keep first responders in mind. They do not need your Search and Rescue mission or your medical issues added to their Corvid 19 response right now. If you do go out, ski or ride well within your safety zone so that we do not inadvertently compound the problems in health care that our first responders are currently facing.

You can also expect avalanche activity with this storm cycle and if planning on skiing the chute…

Oh the Places You'll Go...

Aside from skiing, there are a lot of other great things to do in our great state for adventure. Found my way up to Lagomarsino Canyon on my bike yesterday to check out the Petroglyphs. I have been all over the West looking at both pictographs (art painted on rock) and Petroglyphs (art chiseled into the rock mechanically) but the Lagomarsino Canyon panels are the largest and best preserved of any that I've seen. With over 2200 petroglyphs counted and many more hiding out in the boulders you could easily spend days mesmerized by the 10,000 plus old native works of art. And you will earn it getting there let me tell you. Whether you hike, bike, 4X4 or trailride your way in, I guarantee some excitement in the journey alone. The canyon is located about midway from Lockwood and Virginia City Highlands and whichever way you start or end will be an adventure with bad rocky ass roads, mud, 3 foot deep ruts, rocks and rattlesnakes. Yep, Nevada true and true. And if you even think about giv…