Photo: Eric Rasmussen – Mountain Nomads
Report From: Powderchasers.com
Heavy snow has hit many areas of the West this week! We chased to Mammoth (36 new at the summit) last Friday followed by Sun Valley on Sunday/Monday (22 inches – Epic alert hoisted).
Conditions report: Mammoth had very good coverage up high with some low tide areas in the trees mid and lower mountain (Remember that terrain at each ski area can make for different early season conditions with the same amount of snow). Most terrain is open! They had another 14 inches after we left on Sunday so conditions should even be better. Low tide might still exist in some spots at the base or in lower trees.
Sun Valley is one area I had not visited in my nearly 50 years on the slopes. I grabbed a rare 22 inch storm that dumped snow on both Sunday and Monday. School had it’s first closing in 7 years! Conditions are excellent at all elevations top to bottom. The Bowls are open and covered. Need I say more?
The week ahead looks so deep that I don’t know where to break down the details.
The Pacific Northwest will grab 2-3 feet Wednesday PM through Friday (Warming in the southern Cascades Thursday – Cooler in the north (Stevens Pass, Baker,) Colder air arrives late Thursday and Friday in all zones (Snow). Best chases might be Baker, Stevens or higher elevations of Crystal. Oregon will see the highest moisture content with up to 3 feet near Mount Hood. Bachelor falls on the lighter side (6-12) with near freezing temps. Another large system rolls into the Cascades Saturday/Sunday with colder temps. That might drop another several feet of snow in the Cascades. Good chasing likely this weekend. BC should fare well especially Whistler late this week.
The Sierra will benefit with leftovers dropping down the coast for Saturday and again early next week (Could be a stronger and colder system). The amounts this weekend may stay in the 4-8 inch range with more likely the following week. Uncertainty still exists. The storm for early next week looks stronger.
The Rockies benefit from moisture spilling over from the Cascades this week. The benefactors focus around central Idaho where several waves of energy will drop snow this week. Moderate amounts are likely through Saturday above 7,000 feet. Heavier snow moves into Idaho (Colder temperatures) late Saturday/Sunday and and could deliver significant snowfall. Decent moisture and cold air will aid in totals late Saturday through early next week (Could be significant). I might chase back to Sun Valley late in the weekend or perhaps the PNW.
The Tetons grab teaser storms this week especially Wednesday night and again late Thursday (Both Thursday and Friday may deliver 3-6 inches). Significant stoke already spinning in the Powder Forecast center with a good chance of a large cold system moving into the Tetons next Sunday-Wednesday. This could spell for several days of deep snow. Time to wake up Targhee and JHMR.
The Wasatch nabbed NW flow in the past few days sneaking out up to 2 feet in the Cottonwoods (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude). Park City finally is covered in white with up to 12 inches at most locations. I believe Powder and Snowbasin picked up similar amounts? Some teasing light snow likely this week through Saturday before the large Cascade system rolls in early next week (Significant snow likely). Next week should deliver exactly what everyone is hoping for before XMAS.
Colorado got blasted with up to 2 feet at Wolf Creek (Friends confirmed waist deep today) and nearly a foot at Steamboat, Aspen, Snowmass Keystone, A-Basin and Winter Park. I heard a report from Vail that many rope drops happened today in the Back bowls with fantastic conditions (Even some bottomless powder at Vail for those lucky ones that got the rope drops). I skied atLoveland with 10 inches new and limited terrain open. Rumor has it additional lifts will open in the next few days. Conditions were good in the areas that were open (Terrain openings are all dependent on hazards so YTD snowfall does not always dictate what can open). The week ahead continues with NW flow over the northern mountains which could bring surprises to Steamboat, Breckenridge, and Vail that favor that wind direction (2-3 Wednesday- 3-5 Thursday). Moderate snow is possible next week in many areas of Colorado (Still too far out to predict amounts) and into the XMAS period.
I can’t go into more details just yet! Stoke factor is high right now especially beginning this weekend in the Cascades and extending into the Rockies early next week. The Sierra should also benefit nicely. The Cascades will come up on top.