Report from February 8th-12th, 2019
February in the Sierra mountain range of California has been incredible. With another incoming system, I decided to ride this one out all the way by staying in the Tahoe area for the weekend. The snow kept on falling, conditions got deeper, and the level of stoke rose.
To begin with, I skied the far edges of Kirkwood, CA to find some remaining powder from the last storm system (Conditions report Kirkwood-powder-dream ) The snow was still deep and soft which made for fun conditions.
Later that night the first wave of the weekend storm was supposed to hit. I drove to North Lake to find a warm place to spend the night. The next morning only a few inches had fallen, so we decided to go touring along the Lake Tahoe West shore.
After plowing a skin track into the deep snow, we lapped pillows reminiscent of British Columbia. The snow kept on falling stronger and stronger throughout the day. Later in the day our skin track from the morning was completely buried. Tomorrow would be a powder day with even more snow expected overnight.
When we woke up the next morning we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Cars were buried, roads disappeared, over 2 ft of snow had fallen in one night alone. Squaw and Alpine were closed, and the race to access the powder began!
Homewood Mountain, a great family mountain had one lift open. Having arrived there we already saw that the powder migration was in force. We skied the whole day finding fresh tracks in the trees.
The next day, once the road opened, I drove to Kirkwood to find steeper terrain. The front side was somewhat tracked but there were still plentiful powder patches. Once the backside opened the fun really began. We worked our way into the tech of the lower Cirque while some Kirkwood classics were hit. After that we did laps, enjoying the deep snow and soft landings.
It has been a battle to hit a big Sierra storm spot on, but this weekend delivered. These were the best conditions I have ever skied in the Sierra, and some of the best in general.
With another storm hitting this week, hopes are high that temperatures drop so that the California snow dream continues.
- Large amounts of snow/rain
- Warmer temperatures up to high elevations