NOAA just released their latest forecast for September 2014 in the USA. They’re feeling confident that the Southwest along with Utah and Colorado will experience above average precipitation in September. They’re also feeling confident that the West Coast will be hotter than average this September. All of Alaska, the Southeast, and Maine are also forecasted to experience above average temperatures. September is a bit early to start thinking about snow, but these early storms in Colorado and Utah could be interesting. Of course, early snowpacks [...]

UC Davis just released their annual “State of the Lake Report.” This report speaks to Tahoe’s clarity, temperature, deep mixing, algae, future, and more. Here are some of the main points from the 2014 report: Lake Tahoe only rose 6 inches from spring snowmelt this year, one of the lowest rises in history. Tahoe will fall below natural rim level later this year. Clarity remained at 75.3 feet, the same as 2012, but 13 feet better than 2011. This is most likely due to the low rainfall/snowfall [...]

SALT LAKE CITY—In a move designed to help the metropolitan area attract more tourists, Salt Lake City officials unveiled a new advertising campaign Thursday reminding potential visitors that they can leave at any time. “With our new ‘Free to Leave’ campaign, we’re letting the world know that when you visit Salt Lake City, you can get out whenever you want, day or night, whether you’ve only been here for a couple of hours or a couple of days,” Mayor Ralph Becker said, emphasizing that [...]

This video was made by our friends at Sass Global Travel (SGT). We has nothing but powder here in Bariloche, Argentina during the first two weeks of August. SGT captured it well. The Southern Hemisphere provided the necessary winter weather for the first two sold-out sessions of the season. With less than desirable winter conditions elsewhere throughout the Andes, SASS figured out how to utilize the amazing alpine terrain at Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina. The skier crew started their summer shred with SASS’s standard avalanche awareness program and [...]

Catedral ski resort in Bariloche, Argentina has a chairlift called Nubes. It’s a high speed quad that rises 2,000-feet to the top of the mountain. It accesses steep, jagged terrain, cliff hucks, cruisy groomers, wide open bowls, natural halfpipes, and the terrain park. Nubes would be a solid chair anywhere. Nubes is the key to days like today. Like Tahoe, Bariloche experiences mid-winter springtimes. If you embrace them, they’re [...]

It’s Thursday, and hence its everyones favorite day to reminisce on the past with the classic #throwbackthursday. We here at Snowbrains thought we would get on the Throwback Thursday Train and highlight some of our best videos from last season, and with roughly four months to go before winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re all itching for snow. This Thursday we take you back to late March with Tydel and [...]

While on the hunt for big pow, babes, and asados, we found ourselves in Valle Hermoso, at a back country refugio in the middle of the Andes, camping for a few days with a really good crew. Valle Hermoso is the neighboring valley close to the Chilean border and it holds a lot more snow, even though it is at the same elevation as the Las Leñas valley. The river supplied us with fresh drinking water and an old abandoned hut provided us with shelter. We arrived at Sunset on [...]

The below chart is from Wunderground. They have a weather station somewhere near Kelly’s and it records all kinds of meteorological data continuously, including wind direction and speed. You can see the average daily wind direction and speed for August 1, 2013 through April 31, 2014. Remember all those good days we had in December and January? Well, they can pretty much be explained by the average wind direction being E on those days. Additionally, there were very few low-pressure systems that rolled through the [...]

The infamous “Cleo’s Bath” swimming hole is one of Northern California’s most sought after secret aquatic adventures. But at this time of the year and during the drought, this famous relaxation oasis is a little dry. There are a couple pools of standing water in which people were swimming in. Only small drops of water falling from the river above. The main cliff diving spot was completely dry. You can tell that this place was is a great place to go to during the summer because there was about 25 people all swarming around what little water there was available to swim in. [...]

What you must know is that Burning Man is a VERY SOPHISTICATED POLICE STATE, EXTENSIVELY PATROLLED and MONITORED by State and Federal Officers. They literally motor by your camp every twenty minutes looking for someone ‘anyone’ to bust. Not to mention Camp Spies in costume and Special Operations sporting night vision goggles and underage shills. And their interest is simple – they’re dying to give you a citation. They could care less about what you’re doing, what they’re [...]

I’ve been seeing an emergence of people wearing vests in the backcountry instead of backpacks. Wearing a vest where you wear your avalanche gear on the outside in avalanche terrain in dangerous. Period. Why is it dangerous? Simple: Your gear is not enclosed. Your shovel blade, your shovel handle, and your probe are on the outside of your vest. One of the number one rules of [...]

Argentina just defaulted on their international loans a couple of weeks back. They defaulted on tens of billions of dollars. This is the second time they’ve done so since 2001. In 2001, the value of a peso essentially hit zero. This year, they’re still hanging in there somehow. Even so, investors expect the peso to lose 11% of it’s value against the dollar in the next 90 days. The good news for non-Argentines is that the peso is losing value faster than people can change their prices. Especially ski resorts. Lift ticket prices were fixed in the fall. Yet, the value of the dollar continues to rise against the peso. The [...]

This video shows 42-year-old Kelly Slater’s 9.4-point ride at Teahupo’o, Tahiti today. The guy is 42 and is the best surfer in the world right now. He’s won 11 world titles. No one else has won more than 3. He’s the younger surfer to ever win the world title. He’s the oldest surfer to win ever win a world title. He’s good at surfing. He’s won this even 5 times. Slater is currently ranked 6th in the world. If he wins in Tahiti, he’ll likely be back up to #1. [...]

NOAA has released an official winter weather forecast for 2014/15. They are still showing an El Nino pattern with below average precipitation in the Pacific Northwest and Above average precipitation in the Pacific Southwest. They are also forecasting above average temperatures in the northern half of the country along with below average temperatures in New Mexico and Texas. This forecast is looking good for Taos, New Mexico. It’s very remarkable how similar all of these forecast maps look. Most all show the same thing: warm and dry to the north, cooler and wet to the south. [...]

Last weekend [August 3rd, 2014] Adrian and I pulled ourselves away from beautiful Tahoe for three days of granite climbing on the East Side of the Sierra. We climbed “Crescent Arch” in Tuolumne, “Sunspot Dihedral”, and “Tradewinds” – both on the Incredible Hulk. All in all it was a super fun trip and we had success on all three routes. I was especially pleased to climb almost all of the pitches of “Tradewinds” cleanly, a superb route up one of the proudest lines on the Hulk characterized by clean corners, finger cracks, and the occasional loose block or detached flake to keep you on your toes. It was a real alpine adventure and one that tested [...]

We set off from the base of Catedral on a adventure of epic proportions. It was Ashley, our guide Lucas Jacobson who is a Bariloche local, and Alex Lemieux a guide from Utah who also joined for the quick trip to the hut. First challenge on Tuesday was the high winds and closed lifts on the mountain. We could have taken the summer trail but it would m have been half the fun. We set off and skinned from the base to the top ridge near the Nubes Chair. Once at the ridge we were faced with 60+ mile per hour winds and an icy traverse across a sketch patch. Falling was not an option. [...]

El Nino might make California a ski haven this winter. It also might not change anything. It also might make things worse than they already are (which is scary to imagine…). The reality is that the past 8 Strong, Moderate, and Weak El Ninos show that it’s El Nino in California, as far as precipitation goes, it essentially a 50/50 coin toss. According to NOAA, this year, it’s looking like we’ll most [...]

The Chilean Freeskiing Championships was going to be held at El Colorado, Chile. As of August 11th, the Championships have been canceled. Northern Chile is having a dismal year thus far. Portillo, El Colorado, La Parva, and Valle Nevado are all looking very thin in the snow department. There is very little snow and very high temperatures. Most of these ski resorts are at the same latitude as Los Angeles, CA. They have snow in the flats, but anything steep is basically all rock. Here is a conditions update from professional freeskier Chopo Diaz from Valle [...]

As I left the great surf and awesome culture of Lima I knew that I the next 5 days or so would be challenging, rewarding and overall a great experience. I set forth to Cuzco Peru the jumping off point for the Salkantay trail. Many people know and have heard of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu but doing some research and talking with people locals it was brought to my attention that is [...]

Yesterday, we reported that Independent Skier Magazine had reported that Brighton ski resort (really Boyne USA, Brighton’s owners) had purchased Solitude. Shortly after publishing that article we got an email and then got on the phone with John Kircher, managing director of Boyne Resorts and president of Crystal Mountain, WA. John informed us that: Regretfully, I have to tell you that the recently published story on the acquisition of neighbouring resort Solitude by Brighton Ski Resort did not happen. Widely rumoured in the area, it is in fact true that negotiations were [...]

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