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Report from January 22, 2021
Snow conditions at Stevens Pass are firm along with most resorts in Washington. The longer than normal drought has deprived the PNW of precipitation. Following the January 11-13th rain event that washed all the powder away, conditions are still rough off piste. Furthermore, it’s refreshing that most areas are taking grooming seriously. As a result, Mt. Baker announced they would be widening grooming paths, making social distancing a little easier on the piste.
As seen in the above photo there’s been a little dusting here and there. As a result, a faceted layer of snow on top allows for decent edging and surfable snow in pockets. However, even the local guides are posting a lot of Instagram shots skiing on piste more often than not.
Now is the time to work on those turns. At this time with little powder days in the near future, you can avoid crowded lines. Get after technique and better yourself before the next big dump comes, and it will come. Snow conditions for the next week are already looking very promising.
Alternatively, the eastside of Washington offers some reprieve if you can access terrain by sled. I was blessed to be helicoptered into really good terrain by North Cascade Heli on January 18. Unlike a lot of the backcountry on the westside of the state, we found little powder stashes. Along with surfable surface snow and minimal crust.