A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST THURSDAY.
* SNOW WILL INCREASE OVER THE SIERRA THIS MORNING WITH PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING.
* TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 12 TO 20 INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED AT LAKE LEVEL…WITH 20 TO 40 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET.
* SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS OF UP TO 50 MPH TONIGHT AND THURSDAY WILL CREATE AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. RIDGE GUSTS OF UP TO 140 MPH ARE POSSIBLE.
* RAD DOGS SHOULD EXPECT EXTREME HUCKING AND STRAIGHT RUNNING CONDITIONS AT LOCAL SKI AREAS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. NEW SNOW TOTALS SHOULD MAKE TURNS UNNECESSARY. SKIING WITH A BEACON AND A BUDDY ARE RECOMMENDED TO AVOID POTENTIAL FATALITIES FROM SNOW SUFFOCATION. APRES SKI SHOTS AND BEERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO CALM NERVES AFTER ROWDY DISPLAYS OF SICKNESS AND VORACIOUS PURSUITS OF GNAR POINTS.
* CONDITIONS COULD TURN TO RAIN BY THE WEEKEND SO GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT.
I was lucky enough to get on the reverse traverse just as it opened yesterday. The masses seemed to head elsewhere so I had the slot all to myself. Fresh, thigh-deep tracks all the way down!
I had my first ski day of the season yesterday at Squaw Valley and it was fantastic. I was surprised to hear that KT was running and even more surprised to hear that it was good. And when I took my first run down West Face I was blown away. Having a nine-week-old baby meant that I wasn’t able to join my friends on the fourth KT chair. But West Face was still great at 11 am when I dropped into it. The snow was soft, light and dry – a special treat since I’ve learned to love Sierra Cement. West Face was a little bumped out, but the bumps were soft and skiable. Though the parking lot was nearly full, I had the run all to myself. I made my way to the upper mountain for laps in Shirley Bowl where the snow was also soft and dry and way smoother and less bumped out. The sky was clear and sunny and the temperature was warm enough to be comfortable, but cool enough not to bake the snow.
Part of what made the day so great, in addition the snow snow, was that I skiing with a rat-pack of six friends. My three-year old neighbor, Declan Mack, also had a breakthrough day. Free from his harness, he showboated down East Broadway, making turns, catching air and skiing backwards for the crowd.
The big news at Squaw, aside from the four and a half feet of new snow, is a new ticket checking system. The mountain has installed electronic pass readers at all of the lower mountain lifts. Now you don’t have hassle to take your pass out and show it. Just wear it inside your jacket, on the left side, and the machine will scan it and let you pass. The only thing they need to do now is extend those carrals to the lift entrace so you don’t have to worry about sitting on someone’s lap when six people try to get on the KT quad at the same time.
A Special Weather Statement from NOAA.gov calling for “significant snow accumulations”:
...CHANGE TO WINTER CONDITIONS THIS WEEKEND...
HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE WEST COAST WILL MOVE INTO THE CENTRAL
PACIFIC ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. THIS WILL ALLOW ARCTIC AIR TO
MOVE SOUTH FROM ALASKA AND NORTHERN CANADA AND LOWER HIGH
TEMPERATURE READINGS FROM FRIDAY TO SUNDAY BY 20 TO 30 DEGREES.
THE INITIAL BLAST OF COLD AIR IS FORECAST TO REACH THE AREA LATE
FRIDAY OR EARLY SATURDAY AS A STRONG COLD FRONT MOVES INTO
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND NORTHWEST NEVADA. AHEAD OF THE
FRONT...WINDS WILL INCREASE AND ARE LIKELY TO BE STRONG AT TIMES
ESPECIALLY OVER THE SIERRA AND ALONG THE HIGHWAY 395 CORRIDOR.
THE FRONT SHOULD MOVE SOUTH AND EAST OF THE AREA BY LATE SATURDAY
THERE IS A CHANCE FOR VALLEY RAIN AND MOUNTAIN SNOW ALONG THE
FRONT. RAIN WILL ONLY OCCUR AHEAD OF THE FRONT...AS SNOW LEVELS
QUICKLY DROP TO VALLEY FLOORS ONCE THE FRONT PASSES. SIGNIFICANT
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE NOT FORECAST TO OCCUR IN THE SIERRA OR
WESTERN NEVADA WITH THIS FRONT.
COLD AIR REMAINS IN PLACE INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH THE MAIN
STORM TRACK FROM THE NORTH. MODELS ARE INDICATING A STORM COULD
AFFECT THE SIERRA AND WESTERN NEVADA SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY. THIS
CREATES THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS EARLY
NEXT WEEK AS THE STORM COULD PERSIST FOR A DAY OR TWO.
I have to stay home with the baby, but for God’s sake, someone please go to the Snow God’s Ball in Squaw Valley and sacrifice something precious for me.
Hosted by Squaw Valley Ski Patrol, the 17th Annual Snow Gods Ball starts at 8 in the Plaza Bar on Saturday, December 20. Raffle prizes include Squaw Valley USA Midweek Season Pass, lift tickets, ski and snowboard gear, and more.
Snow Gods Ball headlining act, Monophonics, bring a unique blend of old school soul/funk and rare groove. Since coming together in 2005, they have quickly evolved into one of the hottest live instrumental funkbands in the Bay Area. Recognized for their retro sound, style, and approach (primarily inspired by late ’60s and early ’70s artists like The Meters, The J.B.’s,The and Crusaders), these young heavy-hitters aim to spread live, instrumental dance music as well as represent and continue the tradition of California/Bay Area soul, jazz and funk. They have just finished recording their second album featuring vocalist Marcus Scott and special guest Karl Denson which is scheduled to be released in 2009. www.monophonics.com
Tickets to the Snow Gods Ball are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Squaw Valley Ski Patrol at 530-581-7260. More information about this year’s celebration is also available by calling 530-581-7260.