Skiing Stoke from Lake Tahoe

Month: February 2019


Mark Durgin has the deepest day of his life on Sunday, February 17, 2019.

This ski season is officially off the rails. Three enormous storm cycles have rocked the Tahoe region over the last three weeks, each of a magnitude that would stand out for an entire ski season. The heaviest snow has fallen on weekends and kicked off the first, second and third weeks of the month as “best ski day in a decade” type conditions.

The Tahoe region averages one storm a season which drops three feet of snow in 24 hours. We have received three such storms so far this month. The all time February snowfall record has been broken just over halfway through the the month. Locals are beat down from shoveling and endless snow removal routines. The powder skiing has been all time day after astounding day.

Just when you think you are done shoveling a roof-a-lanche adds another hour to your schedule.
Town of Truckee rolls out the heavy artillery late into the night.
Rob and Ethan McCormick sink into the powder vortex at Homewood.
Squaw Valley’s Tram Face is stacked and racked. Photo by Grant Kaye.
Another picture perfect day in the Truckee backcountry.

Another week, another storm

Exploring the Lost Sierra as another storm moves in.

Before the snow quality from last week’s storm could decline, another system pounded the Sierra Nevada. Squaw Valley received just under 4 feet of snow in 24 hours. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows did not open on Sunday in order to dig out and conduct extensive avalanche mitigation. Both resorts opened nearly all of their terrain at once on Monday morning resulting in a powderhound feeding frenzy. It seemed nearly every local in the region took the morning off and traffic from Truckee and Tahoe City reflected this. Low snow levels with the last two storms have made this an opportune time to pursue elusive ski descents down to the desert floor in Nevada. Don’t look now but even more chaotic weather is headed our way.

Scott Gaffney hucks Main Air in the Fingers at Squaw Valley.
Bro, have you seen my car?
Savoring the post storm goods.
Robb Gaffney drops 5,000 vertical feet into Carson Valley.
…and here’s the chaotic next chapter. Torrential rain!


As good as it gets at Squaw Valley. Photo by Kevin Quinn

This winter went from great to amazing as a four day storm dropped five to eight feet of snow over the Tahoe Region. This one finished with a day and a half of blower pow that resulted in truly bottomless ski conditions. Squaw Valley’s legendary KT-22 opened at noon on Tuesday, February 5 just as the skies cracked bluebird. MSP Filmaker and North Tahoe local Scott Gaffney called it the deepest sunny day he’s ever skied at Squaw. Ski touring was nearly futile as pole plants pushed into the abyss and ski tips were prone to submarining. Cold temps this week are keeping the trees looking like a Dr. Seuss winter wonderland. If one can obtain Nirvana through skiing, this must be what it looks like.

Trenching in the backcountry.
Mark Durgin makes the most of lunch break at Squaw Valley.
Squaw Valley just before noon on February 5, 2019.
Farming pow at Alpine Meadows.