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Best time to go to Tahoe? - Page 2

post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 
Quote = oldgoat:
(Don't know about Mammoth)

Well, I do after 340 days skiing there since 1978. Snow preservation is easily top 10 in North America, exceeded only by a handful of places in Colorado that are both 9,000+ feet at resort level and heavily north facing, with A-Basin being #1.

 

Spring conditions in January/February are extremely rare other than on the ~25% of terrain on the lower Canyon/Eagle side with mostly east exposure.  Mammoth averages over 50% packed powder surfaces to about the first week of April.

 

Patrol records show rain at Main Lodge at the rate of less than one day per season November-April.  Sustained rain for as much as a full day continuously to the top of the mountain has happened once in winter since I've been skiing, at New Year's 1997, the same storm that flooded Squaw and Yosemite Valley.  The early February 2015 storm was the next closest event.  It rained continuously below 9,500 feet and intermittently to the top.  Wind exposed ridges high up had some resulting ice, but there were still skiable packed powder lines on the upper half of the mountain after that storm. TR with pics from the week after that storm: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=11720

good to know.

just heard today--Only 6.5% of 2015 precipitation at Lake Tahoe (6000')  fell as snow, the lowest in history.(Partly explained by a couple of big rain events last summer and a very dry Jan--March)

http://www.sierrasun.com/news/23150949-113/scientists-climate-change-tightening-alarming-grip-on-lake

the good news for the Tahoe area is the the Sierra is rising 1-2mm per year so maybe a few million years from now our snow will be as good as Mammoth (and you'll need oxygen to ski Mammorth).


Edited by oldgoat - 7/28/16 at 9:47pm
post #32 of 35
Thread Starter 

Well, I've read a lot of what everyone has said and because we're going somewhat early in the season we've decided against Tahoe and looks like we will be hitting up Jackson Hole. Still around end of January, Jan 29-Feb 4 but I am thankful I have all of you here to help lead me in the right direction. Bf seems to think we'd still be fine if we went to Tahoe end of Jan but I would say maybe end of Feb or somewhere in March seems to be better? Regardless, looks like it's JH so we will be looking at planning that in the coming months. 

 

--L

post #33 of 35

I would just like to throw out there again that my opinion is the options you put out are not all that different. 

The options you presented are only a few weeks different and all within the middle of the season, so you are at the whim of Mother Nature to deliver.  

Don't fall prey to overanalyzing this.  It's like trying to time if you get a fresh rotisserie chicken at Costco versus one that's 15minutes old. It's something out of your control, and some days you get lucky some days you don't, some days you got to wait for the next batch.  and even if you do get one hot out of the oven, you spend 15minutes finishing the rest of your shopping anyway.   speaking of which, dinner time...

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

I would just like to throw out there again that my opinion is the options you put out are not all that different. 

The options you presented are only a few weeks different and all within the middle of the season, so you are at the whim of Mother Nature to deliver.  

Don't fall prey to overanalyzing this.  It's like trying to time if you get a fresh rotisserie chicken at Costco versus one that's 15minutes old. It's something out of your control, and some days you get lucky some days you don't, some days you got to wait for the next batch.  and even if you do get one hot out of the oven, you spend 15minutes finishing the rest of your shopping anyway.   speaking of which, dinner time...

That's an odd analogy. I'd say it's more like going to a busy dim sum place dead set on getting certain dishes. Sometimes you get the BBQ pork bao, sometimes it's gone by the time the cart reaches your table. (Going across the room to grab them off the cart is not kosher, if I can mix my cuisines.) A matter of luck.

post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaDeathStryke View Post
 

Well, I've read a lot of what everyone has said and because we're going somewhat early in the season we've decided against Tahoe and looks like we will be hitting up Jackson Hole. Still around end of January, Jan 29-Feb 4 but I am thankful I have all of you here to help lead me in the right direction. Bf seems to think we'd still be fine if we went to Tahoe end of Jan but I would say maybe end of Feb or somewhere in March seems to be better? Regardless, looks like it's JH so we will be looking at planning that in the coming months. 

 

--L


That's a good time frame for Jackson Hole.   That said anyone who is on the lower end of the intermediate scale will likely have had enough after a couple of days.  The groomers are good but virtually all of Jackson's blues are fairly steep and would be single black anywhere in Colorado.  There is more intermediate friendly terrain available at Mammoth, Alpine, Heavenly and Northstar.
 

Quote = Tony Crocker:

In terms of snow reliability the once-a-season destination trip planner should instead be asking the following questions:

1) Will the runs our group likes to ski have adequate snow coverage?

2) Will the runs our group likes to ski have pleasant surface conditions?

As far as Tahoe is concerned, I'll remind the OP and others to pay attention to point #2 as well as #1.  Once you get to March a lot of Tahoe terrain is subject to melt/freeze conditions, particularly on the lower altitude North Shore.  Most of us CA skiers are attuned to this and use follow-the-sun around strategies when needed. But my observation is that the once-a-season vacationers really want all-day-long packed powder surfaces. This is a key reason for of Colorado's popularity among the once-a-season vacationers.

 

So the reality is that the mid-February time frame is close to the ideal for Tahoe as a whole, and end of January is about the ideal time for surface conditions with only moderate risk of inadequate coverage.  How moderate?  Expect full operation close to 80% of seasons with poor coverage/conditions in perhaps 15%.  We're apprehensive these days because 2012, 2014 and 2015 all were within that 15%.  Pushing to mid February knocks the poor coverage odds down to about 10% but also raises the odds of melt/freeze conditions a little bit.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 8/4/16 at 12:05pm
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