Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Storm brings some good, some weird snow conditions at Tahoe

From page B3 | February 12, 2014 |

By Jules Older

Once again, I was getting wildly conflicting reports from Tahoe.

Some said, Snow at last! Great skiing! C’mon up!

Others said, Areas closed. One chair working. Eternal lines.

I went to the source — Tahoe residents I know and trust.

Starting with someone everybody trusts, snowcaster Bryan Allegretto, a serious skier and Truckee resident.

Bryan. I’m getting confusing reports. What’s going on up there?
The confusion is because it’s a hugely complex storm. Over the weekend, snow levels [where the snow starts and the rain ends] stayed lower than expected, peaking out at 7,500 feet. Sometimes there was snow at the lower levels, rain at higher. Tremendous variability — I’ve never seen anything like it.

But lower-lying resorts bases — Homewood, Northstar, Squaw — only picked up a coating of snow at the base; higher ones — Mt Rose, Kirkwood, Sierra — did better there.

And up top?
Above 8,000 feet, four to seven feet of snow fell almost everywhere,.

Who got the most?
Kirkwood and Sierra. But every resort is reporting at least 4.5 feet above 8,000 feet elevation. Northstar and Sugar Bowl and Alpine Meadows got a foot of snow in the past 24 hours.

I’m hearing about closures.
A lot of resorts closed Sunday because of avalanche danger. Heavy, wet snow; high winds; a funky base layer — this demands lots of avalanche control. Today, most are open; Squaw is once again fully open.

What about driving?
Road conditions have improved since the weekend. They’re wet, not snowbound, since rain fell on all the passes. The worst roads will be around Kirkwood, where they got two feet on Sunday.

Mt. Rose has the highest base elevation in Tahoe. On Sven Svenhardt reports:

Blue skies are starting to break through and there may be some fresh terrain open today after the groomers worked it last night. The BC skiing yesterday was OK with skis mostly staying on top. It was definitely fun getting off piste and you won’t have a bad time coming up, that’s for sure. This snowfall was a Godsend and will make skiing a lot more pleasant for months to come!

PLEASE stay out of the chutes and other high-angle aspects. All slope aspects are still unstable with heavy wet snow. This is NOT the day to test your luck on steep terrain.

TrustedButAnonymous asked around:

At Alpine Meadows and Squaw, they have been firing at avalanches all morning.

I talked to two friends in Squaw. One who skied this morning on Red Dog and the Resort Run (from the top of Red Dog down to the Resort at Squaw Creek) said it snowed about 2 ½ — 3 feet last night, but really heavy, slushy and difficult to ski on — slick, shiny with ruts on the packed slopes, impossible cement anywhere else — even on fat skis. They will need to do some serious grooming on the upper slopes for the coming weekend.

My other friend in Squaw believes it will be fairly good skiing when the runs open on the upper part of the mountain. Presently, it is 47 degrees with sun breaking through.

Dylan Silver, a ski writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe, reports in from one of the local backcountry spots, Powder House. Yes, he took time from his turns to bring you this:

Conditions up here are spectacular. The upper mountains are absolutely buried — six feet of snow above 7,000 feet. It’s gonna’ pay off for skiers and riders for a long while.

It’s not currently snowing, and the snow’s fairly heavy, but it’s really good for riding. Lower-angle slopes are the best now because of avalanche danger.

Yesterday, Sierra-at-Tahoe had to shut down almost the entire mountain due to the intensity and depth of the snow. They got more than 80 inches, definitely over six feet. We finally have something to ride on, not just rocks and trees.

Finally, the San Francisco report.
I’ve been watching webcams all weekend… and found them eerie. Fog, more fog, skiers at the bottom, none on the trails.

Today, it looks much brighter: blue skies, clear views, and fer sure, an abundance of snow. Praise Ullr. And still conserve water.



San Francisco Chronicle

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Davisite competing for breast cancer ‘Survivor of the Year’

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Cool musicians, hot jazz at Coconut Grove fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Guilty verdict in child abduction case

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Holmes plans open house Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Nominees sought for Bill Streng Business Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Prostate cancer group looks at massage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Moore featured at two climate talks this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Talk breast cancer with oncologic surgeon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    DPNS offers open house Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Public input sought Monday on Northstar Pond

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Veggie gardening, composting are workshop topics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Visiting prof will discuss Armenian genocide

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Closing education gap will lift economy, a study finds

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Applications due for Rotary’s leadership camp

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Project Linus meets March 11

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Breakfast with the Bunny tickets on sale now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery



    Athletes just want time to do their homework

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Let’s not delete Giovanni Barovetto from Davis history

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Low-flow toilets in our parks?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    It was music to our ears

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Thanks for pet drive support

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Story was an ad for NRA

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



    DHS girls lacrosse coach likes her 2015 squad

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Hawkins enters the home stretch of brilliant UCD career

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devils girls stay undefeated ahead of league opener

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    San Jose crushes Canucks behind Nieto

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Sports briefs: Blue Devils drop softball opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Cousins returns to lift Kings in New York

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery



    Ringing in the Year of the Sheep with dim sum

    By Ann Evans | From Page: A8 | Gallery



    French-Algerian guitarist weaves acoustic spells at The Palms on Friday March 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    California Honeydrops drop in for ‘Down Home’ tour

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A7 | Gallery





    Merna Petersen

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6