It has been an epic season. One that is still going strong, except, that is, for the number of people still skiing.
At times I’m perplexed that that number of people skiing drops so dramatically once the storms subside. The snow remains, but the visitors do not. I wonder – do they not understand how excellent the conditions are in the spring? True, the chance of getting a two footer are slim, but six inches of powder is still fresh powder. And if it’s six on one side of the mountain, you can bet it’s twice that on the other side, so it’s not like you can’t get a powder day in the spring. I’ll admit on most days powder doesn’t arrive, but that’s true in the dead of winter too.
Come spring, the snow depth is max, and so is the weather. The sun and gravity rearrange the zillions of snowflakes that have fallen through the season into a harvest of silky smooth, ego-stroking corn snow, where no man makes a bad turn. Why would anyone want to miss out on that? I guess they think they have more important things to do.
On the otherhand, I’m perfectly content to have the entire mountain to myself or with a small group of friends. Okay, I admit it, I prefer it. Obviously, the few others I see out in the backcountry this time of year do too. At least, I think that’s why they’re so much friendlier.
As the month of April draws to a close the Sierra is promising the first week long stretch of continuous sunshine since the Ten-11 mini-draught back in January. The depth of the snow has only receded at lower elevations. Up high, it’s still deep – just shy of a high-water mark in the neighborhood of 170%. The backcountry beckons, so it’s high time to log an extended trip to the Sierra.
In the meantime, don’t expect any updates here. If want to register to comment and haven’t before, you’ll just have to wait until I return for your views to be visible. There might be a guest editor this week but don’t count on it. Until then, I’ll leave you with an appropriate rerun from the pages of Couloir.