Utah Avalanche Center and the US Forest Service bring you the North American Public Avalanche Danger Scale. You must remember four important points about this scale: 1) The scale is not linear. Your risk increases about two fold for each rising level on the danger scale. In other words, you take on twice as much risk at Moderate as Low and you take on four times more risk going from Low to Considerable. And so on. The risk numbers […]

Squaw and Alpine have been on fire for the past week. We’ve had nothing but quality powder skiing since last Friday. Squaw has gotten 32″ of snow in the past 7 days. Yesterday was a full-on powder day with 7″ of new snow at Squaw and Granite Chief had been closed the previous day. Granite was pillowy, poppy, fluffy, deep, and fun all yesterday morning. Once satisfied with the Granite goodness we headed over to Siberia and skied Reverse Traverse Hogs Back laps with free wind-blown Today we cleaned up the leftovers on Granite in the morning and threw backflips off the “Fat Lip” jump until Max did a 1.25 flip and hit hard. He’s 20 […]

This past week has really felt like winter here in Alta. With 14″+ on Saturday and a low sun, we have been skiing great powder. ast Saturday we were forecasted to receive 3-6 inches of snow. Well, with a bit of Alta magic, we ended up with 14 inches. This storm was a Goldilocks storm. Not too little snow and not too much (that avalanche danger became a big deal), it was also […]

Tahoe doesn’t have the biggest mountains in the world, but we’ve got some of the best freeride terrain around. Tahoe’s quality terrain has sculpted some of the best freeriders on Earth. Ryland Bell is one of them. Ryland Bell is from Lake Tahoe and regularly rides at Squaw Valley and all over the Tahoe backcountry. He knows some killer secret spots in the Tahoe backcountry and he shows us few of them here. Last winter, Ryland teamed up with the crew from Standard Films and took advantage of the amazing terrain in his backyard of Lake Tahoe, California. – Anon […]

November in Colorado was a tale of two halves.It truly was in like a lamb, out like a lion. December seems to be shaping up the same way. After 12 days of no significant snowfall, a southwest flow hit the San Juan’s late on Saturday. By Saturday night, the flow shifted to northwest and the whole state was getting the goods. By early Monday morning, 18″ had fallen on Berthoud Pass. After skiing the pass on Sunday, we thought Mary Jane’s glades would be prime on Tuesday.

Watch the award-winning short film Sun Dog, as dog and man go skiing in a winter wonderland. DPS Skis is proud to present Sun Dog, the third film in The Shadow Campaign series. Presented by DPS Cinematic in association with Outdoor Research and Gore-Tex, Sun Dog has already received film festival accolades from Banff Mountain Film Festival, Cold Smoke Winter Film Tour, and the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival. The film has also been selected for the Banff Mountain Film Festival Global Tour. Deep within the snow-capped peaks overlooking Bariloche […]

With none of the lifts running in Zürs and only 3 lifts down the road in Lech, we decided for a tour from the valley (1716 m) to just below the top of the Trittkopf (2423 m), about a 600 m (about 2000 ft) vertical journey. About 2/3 up, we get a glimpse of the possibility for powder turns on the way down. It encouraging, as we encountered many rocks and bare spots up to this point. The snow was sparse and thin and we tried to find the quickest way up the mountain, since the days are quite short this time of the year here and we got a late start. Close to the top, we get a good idea where the best powder was and what line to take with the […]

A skier rode an avalanche off Castle Peak on Donner Summit near Lake Tahoe, CA yesterday. We aren’t positive, but it sounds like this may have been one of our avalanche forecasters who was swept away by this avalanche showing us that no matter who you are, you can get caught in an avalanche when in the backcountry. The avalanche took the skier for a 400-foot ride. The avalanche was 60-feet wide. The skier in the avalanche was hit by a secondary avalanche after being initially caught […]

Santa has an important message for us this Christmas: “Your never too old to throw backflips”
We appreciate this message because every year, we’re all getting older, aren’t we? Every year it takes a little more gumption to push ourselves, doesn’t it? It does.
So, take Santa’s example, stay young at heart and throw your metaphorical backflip this season before it’s too late.
Merry Christmas from all of us at SnowBrains to all of you out there in the real world. […]

Japan is on everyone’s lips these days. It was once a secret, but a secret it is no more. The consistently deep snows of Japan are well known and sought after world-wide. Storms don’t matter in Japan. A cold wind blows out of Siberia, crosses the Sea of Japan, picks up moisture, and that moisture slams into the mountains of Japan resulting in ceaseless snowfall; especially in January and February. There are places on Honshu Island (Tokyo’s island) that receive 1,200 to 1,500 inches of snow per year. That’s 100 to 125-feet of annual snowfall. Whoa… Hakuba, Japan generally gets about 300 […]

Nothing beats a powder day on a snowboard. Slashes, cutbacks, floaters, ollies, and pig-dogs. Powder on a snowboard is nothing but pure pleasure. Snowboarding has been given a lot of the credit for the new freeskiing movement. Snowboarding influenced freeskiing’s style, tricks, and ski shapes and it’s true. Snowboarding has always been progressive and cutting edge and it’s made everyone better as it rolls along. The snowboard boots listed below will help snowboarding continue to influence and up the ante of the snow sliding world. […]

Dia nublado por la mañana con 6″ nuevos de nieve en las ultimas 24hs, caidos sobre una gran base de hielo que hizo acentar el manto para no tener riesgo de avalancha.Muy buena calidad de nieve en peak 8 y 9. Mas por la tarde se despejo el cielo y el sol hizo brillar la hermosa nieve que habia caido anoche. Algo de viento por la mañana disminuyendo hacia la tarde y cerrando el dia con un hermoso atardecer desde Boreas pass. los pinos pintados y las pistas tapadas de nieve que hace varios dias no recibian. […]

“It’s a dark time for the local ski bum. Between global warming, corporate powder, and taking selfies, fresh tracks and face shots seem more elusive than ever. But, a new hope sits on the horizon. A forecast for an epic dump overnight brings the local ski bums to gather at the local ski shop/ bike shop/ coffee house/ hipster bar to bask in the stoke of the impending schralpage…” So begins Snow Wars: Mt. Bachelor Strikes Back, the killer Star Wars parody brought to you by 88 […]

Italy has their best year in over 20 years last year. Huge dumps, vicious avalanches, and all the pros in the world made Italy a madhouse last year. At times there was literally too much snow out there. “It was waist deep snow. It snowed too much. Usually by the time we got up there it was already dense and a bit cooked.” – Seth Morrison told SnowBrains about Italy 2014 this past November Italy […]

Yeah, yeah, yeah…”should have been here yesterday bro!”

The last ‘biggest storm of the decade’ seemed to miss most of Tahoe by sliding South, but it did manage to clip Kirkwood and lay down a few feet of the goods. With Cornice Chair opening up mid-day Friday, I had to go up on Sunday and test it out for myself. The coverage ended up being way better than expected allowing a skier to open it up with confidence. With a 6 year old in tow, the runs on Chair 6 were few yet fantastic in this skier’s mind. Ultimately, I didn’t get a ton of fresh lines […]

This past weekend at Whistler Blackcomb, the alpine opened! People were very excited to get up and into the upper mountain with some fresh snow and good coverage. Saturday was when the Alpine opened with Glacier and 7th Heaven running on Blackcomb. On Whistler Peak and Harmony were open for periods on the weekend. The snow up high was insanely good, as things looked more covered in certain areas than they were late January of last year. Heavy snowfall on Thursday and Friday pasted the mountains with a fresh blanket of nice dense snow that covered up a lot of the upper mountain rocks […]

Jackson Hole is holding steady with a deep early season base after a short warm up. It may have only snowed 7 inches in the last week, but short lines at any lift and low temps in the alpine have kept resort skiing incredibly well with those willing to hike for it finding deep snow!! After an incredible start in western Wyoming the snow machine started to slow this past week bringing warmer temps and less precipitation. Conditions in the resort area were contrasting greatly from top to bottom. Lower elevations generally being affected by warm temps and melt freeze action. At upper elevation temps stayed cooler and anything not hit by the sun stayed riding fantastic! Other […]

NOAA just released a special forecast for the 2014 Christmas week. They’re letting us know if where we live has a good chance of receiving snow (or at least precipitation) this Christmas. Which is very cool. NOAA is forecasting above average precipitation during Christmas week for nearly all of the USA except the West Coast and Southwest. NOAA is forecasting below average precipitation for California and Nevada. NOAA is forecasting below average temperatures for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Florida, and Colorado. […]

Winter has really turned herself on here in Tahoe over the last few weeks. The recent storm system dropped anywhere from 12-22 inches up high, and it has made for some awesome skiing conditions. Prior to this storm system, north aspects over 8,000 feet were still holding good, cold, wintery snow, and things have only gotten better since the last weather event. The skiing on the west shore has really opened up, but still a little thin down low due to the high snow levels that have accompanied the last few storms. The coverage in the Mt. Rose area has been sweet because of the […]

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