Harvesting cold smoke along the Pacific Crest.

We needed a wet storm to kickstart our winter but when I heard it rained to 9,000 feet well into Friday night I began to worry. On Saturday Squaw looked better than it had but definitely not like the game changer skiers had hoped for. I skeptically planned a tour for Sunday morning and am really glad I did. We skinned into a wind protected zone just below the Pacific Crest and when I took off my skis I sank up to my thighs in dry powder. We prospected the zone for three runs as the day turned from sunny to imposing as our next storm rolled in. Conditions far exceeded my expectations. If the Sunday night storm produces the 15 to 30 inches being called for above 7,000 feet, it should start feeling like ski season has arrived. That is until temperatures return to 50 degrees later in the week. Hopefully north aspects at higher elevation will hang in there.

Finally looks like winter in Tahoe.

All smiles in the Tahoe Backcountry on January 22.