That negative stuff I was saying about Tahoe snow conditions not being reliable for spring may usually be true, but right now I’m here to tell you about how amazing the ski conditions are for Summer 2011.Ordinarily there wouldn’t be any skiing in Tahoe once the calendar said it was summer. But the Ten-11 season was a whopper, so we not only have lots of snow still up in the mountains around Tahoe (as well as much of the Sierra and Mt. Shasta) but the quality is good too.
The problem with spring skiing in Tahoe is the snow usually gets mushy early, and stays mushy until it has all melted away. But this year there was so much snow that when it finally turned to summer, it did melt and consolidate but now what remains is as consolidated as any perfect spring melt-freeze snowpack you’ll ever experience. The difference is, it is soooo consolidated that it won’t mush out.
Just because I could I went for a short tour up to Mt. Judah today. I didn’t start until 4pm from Sugar Bowl’s Judah parking lot. I had to walk up to the top of the beginner lift, about 150 vertical feet. Just past there I was able to latch in to a pair of Karhu Guides (Madshus Annum has the same dimensions, construction, and pattern underneath, just a different logo and paint job on top). I brought a pair of skins but didn’t need ‘em. The snow was soft enough and the pattern good enough that I was able to maintain a steady 10° meanderthal track to the top of the Judah lift on a west facing slope with continuous coverage all the way to the top. There were a few places where the options were thin, but the snow was wide enough, and thick enough to keep me above the rocks beneath. Looking behind me, the east face of Disney looked primed for their planned 4th of July ski day.
So if you still have ski fever and you’re hankering to make turns there are plenty of backcountry options, or if you prefer, the lifts are running at Mammoth all weekend, and at Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl on Monday the 4th of July. Deb and I are going to Sugar Bowl just to say we did, but even that wouldn’t be enough if the conditions weren’t good, but they are.
After that, I think I’ll finally be ready to call it quits for the Ten-11 season. Unless, of course, I decide to go to Shasta.
PS: Even the Wall Street Journal knows the score.