For most of this anemic Eleven-12 season the snow has simply avoided the Sierra. Other ranges throughout the lower 48 haven’t exactly had stellar seasons either. Only Alaska has done well, but from a climate perspective Alaska is in another world anyway so that doesn’t quite count.
When the Christmas holidays went bust I knew local retailers and resorts would be paying a severe price, but hypothesized the snow would come in January ‘cuz I just believed it would. It did, but barely and then we all hoped that would be the sign of a shift in the pattern.
February was a bust too though. Still, I held on to hope that the spring touring season would be good in spite of nothing to show for it.
March has arrived and is almost gone but finally the heavens are letting loose on the rains from above. It hasn’t been so much as to make up for lost moisture and for many of you it is too little too late. However, for core backcountry skiers at least, better late than never.It may not last long, and it may not be deep, but if you’re still jonesin’ for freshies everything from Mammoth to Tahoe is in pretty good shape now and the storm tracks are setting up for regular replentishments of the snow. This weekend a good 10-20 inches will cover the high ground. Better still, the warm temps of the last few weeks have helped solidify the base which means corn season is around the corner. I have a hunch it will be good through April, and if you’re willing to hike a bit, even in to May.
So don’t be pulling out the road bike just yet, except maybe to stay in shape for the weekends. The sandy beaches will still be there in late May and California rarely warms up completely until June anyway so until then I’ll see you on the slopes.