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Pow Slayer Weighs In on “Maybruary”

Wanted to highlight this note from Pow Slayer here for y’all…

Well Sven we were all feeling very excited about our late season Maybruary powder day, did two runs without having to walk out Yesterday afternoon. First we skied upper/lower jeta and finished on KC. Next run was skiers right KC then cut left about 1/2 way down. Seemed like a foot of consolatated powder which was turning like a dream. As you mentioned a fresh wax definitely the ticket. Not sure if face runs or chutes are worth the effort and exposure to the obstacles that lie beneath.

-Pow Slayer

In terms of The Chutes, I would strongly recommend staying out or skiing them very cautiously, esp. toward the bottom where many stumps and rocks are hiding just below the surface.

-Sven

Pow Shots in (Miracle) May

The Low Pressure System currently over us is sitting in a position we haven’t seen in many years actually. The storm track this disturbance took would have resulted in many feet, maybe meters of snow, had this come in our winter season. As it is a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the Sierras and that prompted me to wax up and get out early this morning. There was a little less than a foot of new on Slide and some decent skiing was certainly to be found. We stuck to T-Bar (KC for you youngins) so that we could ski all the way to the lot without dinging up our skis too much. I am not saying the face runs aren’t skiable, but your chance of major damage will go up exponentially if you get off T-Bar. Good luck anywhere you end up. As of tonight, its still snowing hard and the weather folks have snow slated a little every day in the mountains so who knows where this will lead.

A word about The Chutes… the run outs have not only melted out but dry ground has run up the hill quite a bit the last two weeks. If you do get pulled in by their Siren Song, just remember, there are a LOTS of stumps and rocks and logs…. BEWARE! Saddle looked to be the best of all of them in terms of coverage when I checked them out before the storm (read wear body armor and an expensive helmet).

Of course we just planted all our flowers and a vegetable garden (which seems to bring a hard freeze or snow just about every spring so…) maybe we should really plant the hell out of the garden in mid October or so… (if only it were that easy).

In any event, here are some pics from today! Apparently, Fat Lady has sat back down in her plastic lawn chair with a Bud light in both hands and will not be singing use yet.

Tele man is ready

Tele man is ready

Tatiana Livin the Dream in May Pow

Tatiana Livin the Dream in May Pow

Feeling the Gifts of the Pow a Snow Goddess Celebrates

Feeling the Gifts of the Pow a Snow Goddess Celebrates

Deeper than we thought and much much lighter… with almost a foot up top this was actually one of the better days of the year

Deeper than we thought and much much lighter… with almost a foot up top this was actually one of the better days of the year

Sven working the off season pow

Sven working the off season pow

No fighting for Pow lines today… Sven in the Pow Pocket

No fighting for Pow lines today… Sven in the Pow Pocket

If you decide to go up please give us a holler. We would love to see your pics and story or two!

It ain’t over till its over… and looking at the 7 day forecast… it definitely ain’t over.

Ski you later,

Sven

Chutes are almost gone and… Plants Don’t Lie!

Although there is still some snow left in The Chutes, the walk out is getting longer and longer driving most skiers up to Lassen (Lassen Road is open) and Shasta understandably.

In other news, a month or more ahead of schedule, the Aspens are leafing out and Cinqfoil and other June wildflowers  are making an early appearance in what will surely be a long hot dry summer. Will fire season be bad? All indications are affirmative but it all comes down to the vagaries of the lit cigarette butt thrown out the window, the campfire that gets away, dry lightning strikes etc etc. Although certainly tinderbox conditions will be ripe for large, difficult to control burns, actual fires will depend on weather and human stupidity (always in great abundance) for ignition.

To indicate where we are at with this years end of season totals, below you will find the data for the Lake Lucille Snow Course in the Tahoe basin for nearly a hundred years. As you can see, 2015 represents the lowest snow total for the last century. As this comes on the heels of three extremely dry years, we are now entering new territory weather wise as the dry and warm winter anomaly continues to worsen. The State of California has just issued its first-ever mandatory state wide water restrictions as many of its’ reservoirs are at historic lows and wells continue to go dry in the states Central Valley. In addition, an emergency salt water barrier is being set up in an attempt to keep salt water from being shipped down to SoCal from the Central Valley since the low river flows are allowing saline water to work its way into the aqueduct system that serves SoCal.

april-16-picture_original

 

What does all this mean for skiers and Mt. Rose? Well, it all depends on what happens in the years to come of course as historically we have had long periods of both wet and dry years. However, according to climate scientists, we will be heading toward warmer and drier conditions in Tahoe in the long run and this is not good news for our bases… (ski areas and our actual edges and bases unfortunately)

Although El Nino looks to be on possibly a historic meteoric rise at the moment, we all remember what happened last summer as we were told of El Nino’s rise, only to find it all fizzle in the late summer and fall. Conditions are remarkably different than last year however… To hear more about the potential for El Nino to affect us next season, this please visit our friend Daniel Swain at Weather West for an article he posted yesterday at: http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3124

So where are we? Well, Washoe Lake residents living on the East side are experiencing alkali dust storms when the SW wind whips over the dry lake, Bark Beatles and other insects are having a hay day in our forests due to extremely dry conditions, large white firs and other large conifers are stressed due to the multiyear lack of water and die offs are imminent and wildfires may ravage those of us living in the Sierra’s this coming summer so… well, to put it bluntly, things could be better.

On the positive side, Mt. Rose is taking steps to remedy the meager snow provided by Ma Nature the last four years by installing more stationary snow making equipment towers on the mountain to provide better coverage and has already been hauling pipe up for the project. There is also an unverified rumor that Pondo will be realigned this summer to unload skiers North of its present location nearer to the upper parking lots on the top of the ridge in order to provide better access to the planned Atoma extension across the highway. I will update when I get more info on this project. If this does happen, it will take beginners away from the face runs, which will improve skiing for everyone, especially in the long run when beginnings skiers will be drawn to the new beginning runs across the highway. It will also mark a commitment on Mt. Rose’s part to really make Atoma and the connection with the Sky Tavern lift system happen in the near future.

Well, thats all the news for now. Wish I could say we will enjoy a wonderful spring, but the spring weather has been about as much fun as our winter was it seems. The Gulf of Alaska storm cycles finally kicked in… too bad it was in late April just in time to bring us windy and wet spring weather… but always better than nothing I guess and we could use whatever water we can manage squeeze out of these late season systems before the heat of summer kicks in. On the positive side… Tahoe beaches are as wide and sandy as they have been for along time and kayaking will be fantastic this summer as many of the motor boat ramps are closed…

Sven

Last Pow Shot of the Year? Perhaps…

If you were able to get up and out this last weekend, you had some great storm snow to ski on Saturday and either powder or Powcorn on Sunday, depending on what aspect you chose to ski. Folks were out in force for what may turn out to be the last powder shot of a very very meager year. This time of year skiers and riders should pay heed to potential avy conditions and come properly prepared to deal with the outcome of their decisions. We knocked off a couple of larger wet slides that ran to the bottom on Sunday, the deposition from which, were several feet deep. Please be mindful that there are no patrol to come and rescue you, so come prepared with knowledge, beacon, shovel and probe as the chutes are now in BC conditions and you are on your own.  One more note: if you cut high to the right on the Eastern Chutes, the walk out is very short with a few rock bands to cross. If you get pow greedy and have to walk out to the lift, it will take a while walking through the Punji Forest and scree. Hope you enjoy the pictorial review of the Spring Pow in the Chutes.

Frisco Dave enjoying the top of Charge in April Pow

Frisco Dave enjoying the top of Charge in April Pow

Mike Selby getting ready to enjoy earning his turns

Mike Selby getting ready to enjoy earning his turns

Mary jumping into Detonator… pretty nice!

Mary jumping into Detonator… pretty nice!

Frisco Dave working Charge

Frisco Dave working Charge

As one descended, the sun balls grew in intensity until wet slides began to run resulting in the Wet Slide Waltz, 4 turns down, one over, 4 turns down one more over, etc etc

As one descended, the sun balls grew in intensity until wet slides began to run resulting in the Wet Slide Waltz, 4 turns down, one over, 4 turns down one more over, etc etc

Ski you later,

Sven

Post Season Pow is Now

The last two storms brought us some pow which won’t be good for long. Hope you get some like we did!

Noa Selby jumping for joy

Noa Selby jumping for joy

Nai'a Selby looking freshies at noon in post season delight!

Nai’a Selby looking freshies at noon in post season delight!

Sweet. No one behind or in front. Just the way we like it!

Sweet. No one behind or in front. Just the way we like it!

Lots of blank canvas...

Lots of blank canvas…

Is this what my parents meant by saying they wanted me to "make my mark"?

Is this what my parents meant by saying they wanted me to “make my mark”?

Happy Rich is back on his feet and Tim is Vertical!

Great news today on both Tim’s and Rich’s part. Tim is in rehab and doing quite well. He surprised me today by walking in therapy with a cane. That is a really big step! He received his hat, sweatshirt and Lifetime Achievement Award in the rehab hospital noting his 50+ years of skiing Rose as well as his 50,000 runs and 80 million vertical feet. It is also noteworthy being one of the first times I have seen him wearing anything but an assless hospital gown and more importantly, actually crack a smile!

The Prune Juice Posse Chairman Tim Brioady rides again working hard I'm the rehab facility where he received his Mt. Rose Lifetime Achievement Award

The Prune Juice Posse Chairman Tim Brioady rides again working hard in Renown’s rehab where he received his Mt. Rose Lifetime Achievement Award

Rich is actually out and about now and was very lucky not to have sustained a major head injury (no helmet) or a broken hip or pelvis. He hammered down on ice very very hard according to Ryan Tittman, who witnessed the accident.

We are happy for both you guys! (maybe nice guys really DO finish last). Luckily most of us don’t have to worry about that…

Ski while you can… the snow is melting fast!

Sven