Palisades Tahoe, CA Report: The Middle Knuckle in The Fingers, 165″ of Snow in January, & The Return of the Golden Orb

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
The Fingers with Miles’ line down the Middle Knuckle. image: snowbrains

Report from January 17, 2023

Brought to you by Palisades Tahoe

The golden orb returned today after a heinously long absence in Lake Tahoe, CA.

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.

That’s a lotta snow in a short amount of time.

Mainline Pocket. image: snowbrains

Today was the first sunny day since I’ve been here (I arrived on the 9th).

I showed up late and still got 2nd chair on KT-22.

Aaron Fox was on first chair.

Eagles Nest and Alex’s ski. image: snowbrains

Everyone was lined up for the upper mountain.

It snowed a little after skiing yesterday and the Fingers and Eagles Nest looked pretty good.

Fox went Eagles Nest and stomped it.

KT-22. image: snowbrains

I went Middle Knuckle and had a killer run.

The snow was perfect.

Ankle deep and carvable underneath.

Josh Gold and Mainline Pocket. image: snowbrains

I worked through the upper section without hanging up on any rocks (rare) and surfed into the lower section in good snow.

I slarved a long turn on the final cliff face and dropped.

In the air I saw how flat and firm the landing looked and grunted “you go this!”

The Fingers fresh this mornin. image: snowbrains

I flex every muscle in my body for the impact hoping for a headbang stomp.

I didn’t got this…

It was firm and flat and bigger than I remembered (I hadn’t skied this line since 2019).

Granite Chief Peak. image: snowbrains

I hip-checked to the right hard, struggled, and got back on my skis.

Something felt off tho…

I reached up and realized my Insta360 camera had ripped off my helmet in the hip-check.

Headwall. image: snowbrains

It broke the plastic right off…

I still had the mount clipped to my helmet, but the piece that connects to the camera had given way…


Mainline Pocket. image: snowbrains

Sad to lose the camera, even worse to lose the footage.

The light was beautiful.

I apologize I can’t share the video with you but hopefully, the description and photos are fun enough.

Tram face. image: snowbrains

Joe and I were the only ones to hit The Fingers first thing.

He went Hatchett Line and nailed it.

From there we ventured to the upper mountain.

The Palisades. image: snowbrains

The big wins today would have been:

  • First into Headwall via the Reverse Traverse
  • First into Granite Chief

My Gnar Sauce was most certainly spent for the day after The Fingers.

Granite Chief. image: snowbrains

I was exhausted.

I’ve skied or traveled every single day since Halloween.

I mostly enjoyed seeing the upper mountain and how filled in it looks.

Eagles Nest. image: snowbrains

It looks like late 2006 when everything got too filled in.

The Palisades are very filled in but looked rough due to a constant 40mph wind that blew for a few hours last night and today.

Mainline Pocket was pretty firm after the wind and some small avalanches.

Glory Rock. image: snowbrains

Granite Chief Peak also looked bad from wind and avalanches.

We did ski Mainline and it was firm and no bueno.

The Palisades & Granite Chief Peak didn’t open as far as I know.

Tram fae. image: snowbrains

I looked for my Insta 360 camera twice in vain.

Fox and Jake helped me with the last search.

Thanks to them and thanks to Palisades Tahoe for a stellar day.


  • TGR was filming on Mainline Pocket and despite firm snow they did some rad stuff
  • Alex crashed on Eagles Nest and lost a ski up there but he was OK
  • A moderate east wind was blowing on the ridges today and it was cold and disconcerting
  • Palisades Tahoe is really really fun to ski



image: PT, 1/17/23


image: noaa, 1/17/23

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