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Happy Spring - Tahoe Conditions

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Today being the first day of spring makes this my first ever spring day skiing in Tahoe. So, as far as I can tell "spring skiing" means 2 feet of powder! It's full on winter blizzard here in Tahoe again, there's at least 2 feet of snow on my deck. Skiied Rose today which almost managed to keep all the lifts open until the end of the day (the only "bad" part of the day was the 30 minute ride up the east bowl chair just after 3:00, the winds were HOWLING). A bit windy all day, visability came and went, but the skiing was sweet. The Chutes were open before 10 and weren't nearly as windy as the rest of the mountain. It was demo day too so I got try a few new skis, my favorite was the new K2 Apache Outlaw, as I told the rep when I brought them back "I think these are cheating, but I really don't want to give them back." Looking at the in comparison to the Apache Chief (126/98/116) they appear to be about the same width in the tip and tail, but 10mm thinner underfoot. They practicly turn themselves and have nice float in the powder.

What a way to welcome spring! And more snow is on the way the next few days. Other friends went to Alpine, sounds like most of the lifts were closed, but they had fun skiing what was open, great snow.
post #2 of 19
So, as far as I can tell "spring skiing" means 2 feet of powder! ????
i live 5 minutes from Boulder Lodge at Heavenly.(top of Kingsbury grade) My wife called me and said this is not fun,2feet of WET Sierria CEMENT. Powder ??? Only in Utah
It's amazing how one part of the country has a totaly differant meaning for two feet of 'powder' from the other.Wet snow s not powder.
post #3 of 19
What a great day! Hwy 88 was closed for avalanche control so I went to Sierra. Made the first lift at 8:30 AM and skied to the closing bell. Finally got to use the Mantra in the right conditions. Now I get it...there is a reason for fat skis. Skied all day with a friend on V Explosiv Wizards. We did our best to leave no terrain untouched. It was snowing so hard, and with wind-blown snow, tracks were filling by the end of the day. So tomorrow should look like no one was there.

Sounds like a good spring (powder) day was had by all in our area that got out to the slopes.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
My wife called me and said this is not fun,2feet of WET Sierria CEMENT. Powder ??? Only in Utah
way to rain on somebody else's parade ! that 2 feet of water theyre calling snow would be music to anyone's ears in the east or PNW right now and squaw has now beaten theyre snow total for last year and theyll probably get another foot before the season's over.
this is great news ski rick ! and now squaw is talking about a may close date instead of april. give me all of that cement that you can !
post #5 of 19
I was at Kirkwood today, and oh yeah, it WAS powder. Maybe not as dry as Rockies powder, but still powder nontheless. Much drier than the usual Sierra cement. For me, it was the best snow of the season, and I was up at Tahoe almost every weekend of the season. (And Thanksgiving and Christmas and etc.)
post #6 of 19
My red face is still smiling from the light fluff at Rose yesterday....all I can say about it....EPIC!! I had an untracked run down Nightmare at 10am where there I literally needed a snorkel (no exaggeration)!!! Another 2 feet tomorrow!!! Why do I have to have a job?!
post #7 of 19
tahoetr

I was in utah this weekend. the temps were warm. plenty of snow. but it was not "light and dry". it was more like - dare i say - sierra cement.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster
My red face is still smiling from the light fluff at Rose yesterday....all I can say about it....EPIC!! I had an untracked run down Nightmare at 10am where there I literally needed a snorkel (no exaggeration)!!! Another 2 feet tomorrow!!! Why do I have to have a job?!
Just got in from Rose (took the morning off) -- today was not as fluffy as yesterday, more windpacked, but the Chutes were deeeeep and fun!

Forecast is for another storm tonight/Tuesday. I'm thinking about taking Wednesday morning too.

-Karl
post #9 of 19
I'm sitting in my office thinking about all the stupid reports I have to finish coding. Let's see...an hour to get home and pack, four to drive to Tahoe...why aren't I on the mountain?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just got back from a morning at Rose myself, I can confirm El Chupacabra's report (probably saw you there). TONS of fun in the Chutes. After 5 laps there I headed for the trees on the Rose side which seemed to be practically untouched. There was some funkiness due to the winds, some wind scour, some ice, then pockets of knee deep pow. Figure out the right line and it was just more sweetness. 12-18" more tonight, 12-18" more tomorrow! If it's gonna be as windy as the say I may try Homewood tomorrow for a bit of variety.

It's gonna take a lot more then someone claiming these conditions are Sierra Cement to wipe this smile off my face. Frankly, 10 years of skiing in the Cascades and Whistler, fat skis, and my new improved forward stance thanks to the Epic Ski Acadamy have me really doubting this whole Sierra Cement thing after my first season in Tahoe. And if folks would rather go to Utah or Colorado I hope they have an awesome time, more freshies for me
post #11 of 19
Just spent 7 days and thousands of dollars skiing the Tahoe area. 5 resorts in 6 days of sunburn and mashed potatos. I still had a great time never hit a stump or rock one. I left for home saturday morning as it was starting to snow. Hopefully, I will make up for it with 4 days in Utah starting Thursday.
post #12 of 19
Die Ricky love, Diiiiiiieeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!
post #13 of 19
At this time of year, anything that increases the base, and prolongs the ski season is music to my ears. Cement or not!
post #14 of 19
Well, my impression is that sufficient base has never been a problem for the Tahoe ski season. The lack of skiers was. (I guess because people want to get back to golfing once it gets warm. Those people have it all wrong.. )
post #15 of 19
Cement? Hardly. Someone needs to learn how to use their skiing buzzwords. Sierra Cement is when it gets warm, starts to melt and then refreezes, leaving trails and moguls that are like concrete. I don't care how heavy, thick wet or whatever the powder is, it is NOT Sierra Cement.

Paulwee is correct, often the resorts shut down while there is still plenty of snow. They find that at a certain point it is no longer cost effective to stay open for the dwindling number of skiers. Also, a portion of the Staff is transitory, and when they move on to follow the season, the resorts are understaffed.

Once it really warms up (like a few weeks ago) the base can start melting at an alarming rate. The bigger issue is that the people in the "valleys" start to think of summer sports and put away their skis. It was 88 degrees when I left for Tahoe on March 11th, and the snow had melted 2 feet in the previous two weeks. I saw three ski boats on Highway 88 (the road that goes past Kirkwood) Sunday in the snow storm. Try to imagine the guys in ski boats trying to get past the Chains checkpoint, and trying to figure out how to get home. Doh!


Wristshot
post #16 of 19
Actually, I think you're wrong. My understanding of the term "Sierra Cement" has always been the heavy, moisture laden snow, fresh off the Pacific, that falls in the Sierras in the late season.

Dchan? Rick?
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have to agree with xdog1, I've always used the term Sierra Cement (or Cascade Concrete in my past life as a Seattleite) to refer to heavy, high moisture content snow. It's commonly found in coastal snow areas like the Sierras, Cascades, and Coastal Range in BC (funny, I skied Whistler 40+ days for a couple seasons and I don't remember a regional term for this type of snow up there). I call what Wristshot is referring to as "ice" if it's solid, or my real favorite, "breakable crust" if you can break through that nice frozen top layer (suggestion, don't use your head to break the breakeable crust, especially if you don't have a helmet on, as I did in BC back in December).
post #18 of 19
I agree. "Cement" is what you get when you go out expecting fresh powder, but instead you get something of the consistency of wet cement, which is almost impossible to turn through. Very heavy, dense snow. The opposite of the neck-deep spray you see on a Warren Miller movie.
post #19 of 19
Just back from some primo skiing at Alpine & Squaw Mon &Wed: lots & lots of "hero snow" with temps mostly cold enough to maintain wonderful quality. My new Volkl 724 Pros were very good to me, happily floating through all the sensuous untracked terrain. Tahoe areas now projecting May closing dates-- happy happy joy joy!
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