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Pacific Northwest/BC 2016-17

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Over 4 feet of fresh fallen at Mammoth over the past 24 hours according to the dump alert, and still falling.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
Over 4 feet of fresh fallen at Mammoth over the past 24 hours according to the dump alert, and still falling.


Yep, 39" at the base and a whopping 56" at the summit. Going to take them awhile to get things sorted out with that much snow.

Weather patterns look promising with forecast cold temps, and continued Pacific moisture coming ashore.
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Fantastic snowfall for the California resorts. That should certainly help towards the droughts.
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Looks like a bit more snow coming through for the Sierras (10cm-20cm) before things start to calm down for a few days. Whistler could also see about 20CM of fresh on Boxing Day. Has been a very good start to the ski season out West. Currently I'm out East where I skied some mellow groomers at Mohawk Mtn. CT. More of a hill really but skiing is skiing. And as they say, it beats a day at the office!
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Snow on Highway 1 across the valley through to Hope, so those places are getting it today. Northwards, the "coke" is typical for the time of year, a few crashes here and there and mostly snow covered. Note all hire cars have M&S tyres so are fine here (or on the Sea to Sky where they mostly go). Lots of snow in Kamloops - significantly more than usual. There was a fatality on the Sun Peaks access road yesterday; it happens. North of there, again more snow than usual, with 1m fresh in the last few days in Blue River. The forecast's for sun on Sunday, so waist deep powder and blue sky expected.

In summary it's looking like a five star start to the season.
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Been cruising the local Seattle mountains this week - Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie. Cover is good everywhere and we keep getting small refreshers which help soften things up. I'm really starting to appreciate Alpental, Spent today poking around all sorts of nooks and crannies and found some great little lines. It's a small hill with some serious terrain. And it's generally quiet. As the snow builds up I can feel a few weekday explorations of more of the jagged terrain here.

Usual report and a few pics at https://gortonator.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/pre-xmas-cruising-around-seattle/

Heading up to Kicking Horse/Lake Louise tomorrow. Hopefully timing the drive perfectly between storms. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. Merry Xmas everyone
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@Toadman, Mohawk looks epic!! Merry Xmas ...
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gortonator wrote:
@Toadman, Mohawk looks epic!! Merry Xmas ...


Happy Boxing Day! Headed back West tomorrow. Looks like it will be a good storm cycle for the West Coast PNW areas as well. Forecast calling for between 1 foot to 3 feet between Monday and Thursday for the Cascade range from Oregon, and up into BC. Can't wait to get back out there.
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The storm scheduled for today (Monday) was some hours late - this frame grab is from this morning, where there was sun in the Monashees. The weather came in from the south during the day. By the afternoon the light was marginal outside the trees. By sun down it was snowing heavily - big flakes, straight down.

(Burton Branch Manager, which is a pretty shaped board. Fast in the trees, a little small so not quite so fast on this kind of stuff. Snow here is a 3+ meter base with a few layers in it and about 30cm of fresh on top. In the open some of it's been a bit wind affected, but most of it hasn't and it's been cold [minus 17 today] so it's decent stuff.)
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50cms in the last 24 up here above Kamloops. Sufficiently deep that you would not want to fall over in it. This is an unprocessed GoPro frame grab - it's steeper than it looks. The highway looks challenging.

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@philwig Great pics! Keep 'em coming! Another storm set to roll into BC and PNW on Thursday into Friday. Again forecasting for between 20cm-50cm. Cold temps with snow levels almost to sea level in some areas means some dry light powder to be ridden.
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The storm came in gradually here overnight.... I don't know, maybe 20cm over night. Then it snowed all day, dropping at least another 30cm. The forecast is that it will be clear by tomorrow (Friday). I'm pretty sure all BC got some of that. Wednesday was huge, it was a challenge getting to and from the steeper stuff. Friday may well be the same...
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philwig wrote:
I'm pretty sure all BC got some of that.

Yep, definitely got it here! snowHead snowHead
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Mt Baker reported 9", Stevens scored a foot, which I sampled today! Very nice soft turns today. Large crowds though. Getting close to 5 meters snowfall in the Cascades. And not quite January yet. Supposedly one more round to go on Saturday late afternoon into evening for a white start to the New Year. Stay safe out there. Talked to some folks on the lift that knew this gentlemen that passed away this week.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article123484134.html
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An unprocessed GoPro frame grab from today, Friday. There's that 50cm from Thursday on top of the 30cms from just before that and then a 3m base or something like that. Jump in it and it's armpit deep. Don't open your mouth at the wrong time (not bad advice more generally). You really don't want to fall over in this unless you're very fit. Crawling is necessary for snowboarders on the flat; for uphill, both skiers and snowboarders have to resort to that. Conditions are tolerably stable. The snow's a fraction heavier than earlier in the week as it's more consolidated => it's easier to penetrate. Skiers are all on 138mm planks, this is a Capita Spring Break 161. It doesn't get any deeper.

The Coq is closed and Highway 5 is closed around Valemont - something to do with snow, I believe. I'd say that pretty much anywhere on the top left hand bit of North America is going to be good for skiing and bad for driving. Oh yes, they tell me that the Sea to Sky (access to Whistler from Vancouver) has also been closed (panic not, these are all temporary whilst they clear the wrecks).

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Well they got the forecast wrong today. Only calling for a few inches in the Cascade. They did issue a caveat, that a convergence zone might come into play. Well the CZ came into play, and it was good. Ridiculously good. 13" reported at Stevens Pass. 9" reported at 5:30AM at Crystal. I even had a few inches of snow in my neighborhood. So it was a great way to start the 2017 year.

I decided on Crystal today. Was glad I did. Was just an amazing day. With lots of face shots, and basically no crowds. Rode the lift by myself most of the day, except for an hour in which I skied with a like minded Seattleite.

But it just kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing. Probably an inch an hour. So by the time the lift started spinning, there was over a foot. Some very light snow, with cold temps today. Somewhere in the neighborhood of -7 to -9 Celsius kept the snow nice and light and dry. Was going down to the base unless you really opened it up to get the float.

Just a few random pics. First 5 laps I hardly crossed a track. Even 2 hours in I was finding loads of untracked. Just an amazing start to January. And feeling very blessed with our bountiful snow fall.



Knee deep where ever you went.

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Looks good. Here (between Kemloops and Jasper) we had blue sky/ flurries/ high wind. I hiked a local hill with a no-board. The forecast is for lower winds and blue sky for a few days, I think. It is going to be colder too.
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Hey Phil - how long's your pole? (Fnar fnar) Do I remember you saying it was well over a metre long? I was given a Gopro for christmas and reckon the selfie stick type footage looks the best..... Looking on ebay and the longest a quick search comes up with is about 95cm.
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Somehow Mission Ridge in Wenatchee squeezed out 28" of snow in the past 24 hrs! Could be some wind loading of the snow stake. Puzzled

Taking today off to rest the legs and the back which took a shot after hooking a tip yesterday on a semi-buried tree tip, that flipped me onto a cat track.

It will be cold and mostly dry for the next few days. The Jet Stream is checking out the Sierra's for the next few days, which should delivery quite a bit of snow. I've read a few forecasts calling for about 5 feet over the next 7 days.

Forecast for PNW and BC are looking at sometime toward the end of the week into the weekend for a return of some more precip. Hopefully with cold temps.
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Mission Ridge on January 2nd.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOxlToeDGyB/
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California resorts are about to get pounded. All along the Sierra Nevada serious amounts of snow are forecast. Great news for the drought situation when the snow melts in spring and summer.
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Minus 10 to minus 20 here today, minus 27 with wind chill. That's not actually hugely cold, easy enough to deal with. No fresh snow, and the wind from yesterday surprisingly didn't pound the **** out of the Alpine. The snow's still better in the trees of course.

rogg wrote:
Hey Phil - how long's your pole? (Fnar fnar) Do I remember you saying it was well over a metre long? I was given a Gopro for christmas and reckon the selfie stick type footage looks the best..... Looking on ebay and the longest a quick search comes up with is about 95cm.

If they tell you that the length doesn't matter, then either they don't know what they're talking about, or they're trying to make you feel better. It really does matter. (innuendo intended)

Yeah, 95cm is not long enough unless you like cutting off your head or your board. I can't imagine why they make them that short. Note that if you want to use image stabilisation then you need to frame even more loosely, so you need a decent length pole even more than you think you do. With the pole you don't really need stabilization though - I've used it sometimes, but I actually prefer it without. I don't much like helmet mounts for snowboarding.

I struggled for years trying to find something which would work... then I went to NYC and picked up one of these:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1014017-REG/delkin_devices_ddmnt_boom_fat_gecko_carbon_fiber.html

That's 150cm, and it weighs... can't remember, but not very much, 200g maybe. The key thing is to get enough length without the weight. I can't hold anything much heavier than this.

Of course when the powder's neck deep you could get away with a little pole wink
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More about that freak dumpage at Mission Ridge, WA. Probably a very, very rare event. Especially the magnitude. And very localized too.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=37461.0
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Toadman wrote:
More about that freak dumpage at Mission Ridge, WA. Probably a very, very rare event. Especially the magnitude. And very localized too.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=37461.0


And guess where I was for New Year Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

In many ways the afternoon on 1st was better as it was dumping like crazy and no one was there. They had a foot at midway from 10am to last chair (measured by liftie of a chair under repair) and the wind loading on the runs off windy ridge was insanely good. Yesterday the mountain did a superb job to get open as the depth of snow of the flatter parts of mountain made sliding nigh impossible - it was light snow too. We did manage a few trips to the white room though. Quite a few .... it was a snorkel day.
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Spent a few days after Xmas at Lake Louise, Kicking Horse and Kimberley. Good early season conditions, especially at Lake Louise and Kimberley, and up high at Kicking Horse. The latter is a place I'd avoid in busy periods - the gondola is a bottleneck (30-40 minute lines) and the mountain really doesn't work well when busy.

Some pics and report at https://gortonator.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/xmas-in-the-canadian-rockies/
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So here's my report and pics from Mission at New year. Pics don't really do justice to how good it was. We were super lucky to be there.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Avi death out of bounds at Crystal this week. Very sad.

http://q13fox.com/2017/01/05/body-of-64-year-old-backcountry-skier-found-buried-in-avalanche-near-crystal-mountain/
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@gortonator Saw that last night. Sad indeed. Hopefully more info on actual location of the avy will be forthcoming. Snow pack has definitely been reactive this winter with all the new snow. Looks like more coming late in the weekend. It's back to work and I'll be doing a bit of traveling. Have to be in Bay area next week. Have half a mind to stay for the weekend and go ski in Tahoe!
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Tough driving conditions on the sea to sky ( Vancouver to Whistler) on Friday as the storm hit.

Not sure how much Whistler got, but it's a "reset" after last weeks wind event. . Temperatures are cold for here- minus 8 yesterday.
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Blue sky and sunshine in the Whistler valley today. In the back country there was about 20cm fresh, but also some wind-hammered stuff. It mattered what and where you were riding.
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Another, what, 30cm over night, maybe more depending on precisely where you are. Last night 20cms in Squamish whilst I ate there; snow all the way up the highway this morning from there up through Whistler. Village driving conditions pretty naughty this morning. Woke to the sound of them banging the avalanches, something which went on for several hours.

Translation: another dump in Whistler, probably about 30cm, into about minus 8 or so. It should be good out there.
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Was cold and moderately snowy on weekend here in the WA Cascades. We skied Mission Ridge at the weekend - really good conditions indeed.

Quick report a few pics https://gortonator.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/cold-and-snowy-at-mission-ridge/

Heading up to Whistler for this weekend. Cold and dry there right now, but looking like some precip for weekend. Shame about the MLK weekend crowds. Will be wishing for Mission Ridge 'crowds' by Sunday snowHead
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Most models are trending a period with the blowtorch ON coming over the usa. @jelly you are getting out at the right time.Nice timing.
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jeffx_ wrote:

Most models are trending a period with the blowtorch ON coming over the usa. @jelly you are getting out at the right time.Nice timing.

Pretty great timing I reckon.
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Very cold at Sun Valley but beautiful blue skies. They received close to 3 feet the past week so the runs are soft and chalky. Crowds are non-existent for MLK weekend.
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A warm up is on the way for the next few days. FL is going up to about 2,000 meters, ugh! Will fall into the weekend though, and hopefully will allow some precip to fall as snow.

Just back from 3 days in sunny Sun Valley. You can actually find powder even 4 days after a storm. Temps were -4F in the morning, and warmed up into the teens during the day. Made for some nice turns on the groomers. And a bit of hiking you could find some nice fluffy stuff to play in.

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I love Sun Valley when it has decent conditions. Some really fun terrain.

Think we're heading back to Mission Ridge for the weekend. Hopefully they will get little unfrozen precip over there.
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Weather has been pretty calm in Pacific Northwest last couple of weeks. The riding at Snoqualmie and Mission has been good though with cold temps keeping the snow soft.

The views are rather fine too - some pretty pics of beautiful WA Cascades at:

https://gortonator.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/riding-in-the-washington-cascades-sunshine/

In Boston now, and going to ski Sunday River in Maine this weekend. that'll be different!!
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Dumping in Seattle. I guess a bit of a surprise for the weather folk. Surprise for the ground crews at SeaTac airport as well. Sat on a runway for 2 hours while they tired to figure out where to park our plane from Denver. Ironically, and somewhat frustratingly there's more snow at my house at 500' ASL, than we got in our week in Colorado. Snow is very heavy but should be decent up in the Cascade ski areas. I would imagine Whistler is going to be really good too. More snow in the pipeline.

Been out with the snow shovel, and the chainsaw this morning. Lots of tree branches down. And I have a tree on my roof to deal with as well. Fun times!

Just looking out my window now, and massive flakes are just dumping! Good grief!! Supposed to let up but I think we are in for another week of storms cycling through. The La Nina or whatever you want to call it is being very generous to the US West Coast this year.

Edit to add: Whistler with 39CM reported past 48hrs. Mt Baker with about 40cm past 48hrs. Crystal with over a meter the past 48hrs. And still snowing heavily. Down in Oregon about 30cm past 48hrs.
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Toadman wrote:
I would imagine Whistler is going to be really good too.


yes indeed* Super-light and plentiful snowHead


(*except for all the annoying snow flying up into my face as I was turning wink )
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