Tahoe’s at Equal Chances on this map which should put us around average, but that’s not how it’s looking.

Yes, I know.  No one likes bad news.  But, this is real.  I think it’s safe to say that this season is starting to suck in Tahoe.  Am I way off base, here?  I don’t think so.  Tahoe has nothing in the 7 day forecast and likely nothing until around New Years or later leaving us with potentially up to 14+ more days without snow.    The current forecast is for nothing in the next 7 days and very likely nothing in the next 14.  Maybe, just maybe, we really aren’t gonna get any snow in the next 3 weeks.  Then what?  That puts us at no snow in Tahoe until early Januaryt.  It could be even longer.

14 Day Outlook. Below average Precipitation in Tahoe.

If that turns out to be true, we’d be potentially be looking at the worst early season in Lake Tahoe since the dreaded 2006-7 season which still had more snow at this point than this year at 69” (god forbid it become anything like 1976-77).  Granted, it could turn in January and end up being an epic mid-season, and completely dissolve this sort of discussion.  I hope it does.

donner summit snow graph
Donner Summit Snow Totals

For a bigger graph below: TheStormKing.com

In Tahoe, we’re disgustingly spoiled because last season was so good so early.  At this time last year, we’d gotten 173” of snow at Squaw.  This year, we’ve gotten 24” of snow so far.  (Other slow early seasons:  2008-9 only had 87” at this point, 2006-7 only 69” at this point)

Ok, I think we all get it now.  This winter is having an incredibly poor start in Lake Tahoe.  Moving forward, we need to come up with a plan of what to do with ourselves.  The most logical idea is a ski trip somewhere good.  This ends up being another caveat in the equation.  There really isn’t anywhere worth going in the lower 48.  Nowhere has good enough snow to validate an expensive ski trip right now.

Alyeska Ski Resort

Alaska, though, is going off.  Alyeska has gotten 285” of snow thus far this year.  They have a snowpack of 102” at the top of the mountain.  I know that a lot of people in here have never been to Alaska.  If that is true, you’ve likely already heard that it’s sublime.  This time of year is a bit trying due to the extremely short days, but if it’s snow you’re looking for, they’re killing it this year.  And if you’ve never been to AK, this is a great excuse to check it out for the first time.

Alaska is going to have to be our shining beacon of hope, for now.  Flights aren’t too expensive and Girdwood (Alyeska ski resort) is only about 40 miles from Anchorage.

December 14th, 2011. Alyeska ski resort

The other plan is to say “screw skiing” and go on a tropical surf trip.  Costa Rica, Hawaii, Mexico, anywhere warm will probably do.  If you actually want surf, make sure you go somewhere that gets some northern swell.  When you’re in the tropics and there’s no snow at home, you feel pretty good about it.

Tropical Surf. photo: ralphspic.com

I know I’m going to get ripped for writing this post.  Not a problem.  I’m not a pessimistic person.  But this season is starting to scare me.  I want to be optimistic and hope for an insane Jan, Feb, and March as projected by our weather guy.  I was holding onto high spirits.  But these continual snowless forecasts are really hitting home.  They’ve forced me to consider the fact that it may not snow – at all – until Janurary and that has got me genuinely freaked out.  So, am I just spreading the pessimism?  I hope not.  I’m really just simply looking for some hope.

December 4th, 2011. Alyeska ski resort

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