It goes without saying that this season has been a rough one for Tahoe skiers and boarders. The extended forecasts have been showing big storms 2+ weeks out for close to 2 months now, but they never come through. We did get a wet pineapple express storm a couple weeks ago that provided some dense and fun pow turns, however.
After a few awesome days of pow/slush skiing at Squaw and Alpine we decided it was time to head out to see how the west shore fared with the high snow levels. We found super dense but fun powder turns on north and east aspects above 7500 feet.
The sun came back in full force immediately after the storm making the minimal dry snow that fell extremely wet and slushy. I didn’t know it was possible to see powder turn to corn within 48 hours, but that’s exactly what happened. If you found the right aspects and elevations, the skiing was awesome, but certain aspects held nothing but deep slush that proved hard to turn in.
The real winner from our last atmospheric river event was the high elevations of the Cascades. After hearing that Mount Shasta had picked up over 5 feet of snow, it only seemed right to hop in the car and make the 5 hour drive north. It was well worth it.
We found epic corn conditions in the south-southwest facing gullies up to around 12k feet on Shasta. It felt good to put in some big vertical and get rewarded with perfect weather and conditions on such an aesthetic mountain.
If you decide to head that direction, make sure to check the weather before going. We ended up finding mid to late spring-like conditions with temperatures pushing 50 degrees at 12k feet, and we could clearly hear melt water running through the snowpack by 11am.
All in all there are plenty of backcountry snow sliding options in the area, some better than others. If you keep to higher elevations, there are still soft turns to be had.