Lake Tahoe, CA Backcountry Report: Prolific Pow, Terrific Terrain, & The Largest Surface Hoar of My Life

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from January 18, 2023

Yesterday morning we got moving at a casual 9am and sauntered up to an old favorite backcountry zone in Tahoe.

According to the UC Berkeley Snow Lab situated at 6,900 on Donnor Pass, CA, we’ve gotten 165″ of snow since January 1, 2023.

We skied 2 runs.

I’d never skied the first run.

Nate guided us.

Both Nate & Alex know the zone better than I and I was happy to be guided.

The first run was cool and weird.

On the last part of our 1st run we saw the largest surface hoar I’ve ever seen – 5cm long!

Biggest surface hoar we’ve ever seen. image: snowbrains
Biggest surface hoar we’ve ever seen. image: snowbrains
Biggest surface hoar we’ve ever seen. image: snowbrains

Big, sometimes sharp, sometimes round rolling wind lips that skied soft and fun lead to a neat spiney zone with a random air out and fields of glory below.

The snow was good.

Really good.

Pow. image: snowbrains

On our 2nd lap we skied my favorite line in this zone.

The wind-lip that I love was a little worse for the wear after another group had hit it, but I minded not.

Some big fun turns to a small air to the fun wind-lip had me beaming.

The houses in Tahoe are buried right now…

Thanks for being great partners and strong guides Nate & Alex.

AVALANCHE FORECAST

image: sierraavalanchecenter.org, 1/18/23

PHOTOS

Buried house. image: snowbrains
Buried house. image: snowbrains
Buried house. image: snowbrains
Buried house. image: snowbrains
Buried house. image: snowbrains
Buried house. image: snowbrains
Pow. image: snowbrains

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