So growing up on a MT ive seen some crazy weather here in VT. One year in August, it was 82 degrees at 11 am, 60 degrees by 1 pm and snowing at 3:30. I've also skied in mogul contests in 80 degree weather, with water running in between moguls, splashy. Ive also been up at the MT on a day where i saw about 4 to 5 people skiing, it was -80 at the summit. First time in my life, and on that day, that i got frostbite, from walking 100 feet to my car in the parking lot.
But the best "unreal weather" happened in 2 places: Stowe, and Squaw. In Stowe, there was incredible snow one day, around 32 or so above or below degrees. The lift stopped, and it stopped way too long. This was back in 1989 and there were no means of communicating other than yelling -up on the trails. Lightning started, and it was within 150 feet from our chair, you couldnt see 4 feet in front of you with the humidity and profuse amount of snow falling. 2 more strikes and that was it, of all my years skiing, ive never jumped off of a lift, but had a pretty good idea how to. My friend and i looked at each other, i pushed off and spun 180 degrees and landed skiing. Done. Everyone else was yelling at us, saying they wanted to jump off also, we were down from the top of National at Stowe to the patrol shack in less than 3 minutes. They didn't realize there was lightning almost hitting the chairs, you couldn't see anywhere.
Now Squaw. It snowed over 10 feet in less than 5 days, the only time i've ever been there. We parked our car in the lot at a friends place, they had a car we drove in. There was over 6 feet of snow on top of the car, it was buried for days, only to be uncovered in one swoop by the landlord half-hammered running full speed just past the back bumpers of every car in the lot with the largest CAT front loader ive seen. We drove back from Truckee one night, driving almost exactly 8 MPH (yea it was that slow) on just about flat plane on the road and were sliding sideways, in a jeep. Ive never seen snowflakes the size of an orange. Theres something so cool about huge amounts of snow piling up.
But 2 days later my friend and i skied across the spine to Broken arrow off of Granite Chief, and the wind was hellish. The wind picked up and got faster with every minute. So my buddy says "stay right behind me", we grew up skiing together, he was at Squaw, id never been there before. That wind turned into a white out, i could faintly make out something that looked like sides of a trail but he disappeared 10 feet in front of me and the wind was wiping away the tracks just as soon as i saw them. Almost panic. I kept going straight and the wind cleared for a second and i caught up to him. We traversed further and further until the wind got so strong we had to get close to the ground. Then that turned into completely laying on the slope, ive been in 70-80 mph wind and that was beyond that, enough to lift you off the ground. We started side-sliding downwards until we got to a lower elevation where there was no wind. In the 36 years of skiing ive done, ive never been so close to pure nature, with virtually no control over what we were doing. They closed that part of the MT because the winds were in excess of 80 mph. That "spine" we skied over had wonderful 200 ft straight drops on either side, and was only about 6 to 8 feet wide. Yea that was sketchy...
Im sure you all have some interesting stories of crazy weather, and whether or not you decided to play in it. Feel free to add any stories, im always curious. Clear sunrise with a red haze at 6 am at the top while training in -40 weather? The things we go through to be happy at the end of the ski day..crazy.
What have you been through?