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Sierria Storms

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
with compliaments for the Tahoe Daily Trib.
Better late than never.


Storm slams Sierra
Jeff Munson, jmunson@tahoedailytribune.com
February 26, 2007

Part two of a trio of winter storms slammed into the Sierra on Sunday, snarling Highway 50 for Sacramento- and Bay Area-bound motorists, but bringing much-needed snow to ski resorts that have struggled this season.
The third storm, considered to be the strongest, should arrive sometime today and last into Tuesday, bringing with it at least a foot of snow at lake level, and two or more feet above 7,000 feet. When all is said and done, more than six feet will have fallen at lake level and six feet of snow will have fallen in higher elevations, forecasters say.

Between the steady purr of snowblowers in neighborhoods from Stateline to Meyers, traffic eked along the busy highway corridor, following about a two-hour shutdown of Highway 50 for avalanche control. More than 50 reports of fender-bender accidents were made to police dispatch on Sunday, none of the accidents being very serious.
"The difference between this storm and other storms is that this one fell at the end of the President's Day week. We had a lot of vacationers up here trying to get back home," said Leona Allen, communications supervisor for the 911 center in South Lake Tahoe.
Chains were mandatory Sunday on a Highway 50 over Echo Summit, Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, and Highway 88 over Carson Pass. Chains or snow tires were required on most other highways in the region, including much of Highway 395 between Bridgeport and Reno.
Whiteout conditions caused by 60-plus mph gusts forced a number of lifts to shut down early Sunday afternoon at a number of resorts, including Heavenly. Since Thursday, the storms have dropped more than 4 1/2 feet of snow at between Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe.
Today's storm, however, should be bigger than the two other systems, with anywhere between 12 and 18 inches expected at lake level and between 18 to 30 inches above 7,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
"This next one should be the grand-daddy because it has the support of both of the jet streams," said Simon Smith, South Lake Tahoe's co-op observer for the National Weather Service. The storm should start sometime this afternoon and could last well into Tuesday, possibly into Wednesday.
The snowfall also has given a much-needed boost to a skimpy Sierra snowpack, which has recently stood at 40 percent to 50 percent of average for the date in the Lake Tahoe area.
post #2 of 23
Awesome! I fly into Tahoe tomorrow! Finally, the research paid off!
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
U mean Reno i hope. if your renting a car, make sure you have tire chains , because the chain controls have been in place since Friday night
post #4 of 23
At this point all three highways are closed and getting to Tahoe from the West is not happening. 50, 80 and 88 area going to be a real mess. I'll be surprised if 88 opens by Wednesday, but I'm hoping. Huge avys are occurring naturally, and of course Cal trans intentionally triggers slides above the highways to keep things from getting too big. There may be 5 to 6 feet of unskied snow at Kirkwood.
post #5 of 23
There will be more than 5 to 6 feet at Kirkwood - much more. But, it won't be available for another 2 days probably. They've had the Wall and Chair 6 closed I believe the last 2 days (could be just yesterday). They have so much blasting to do that it's gonna take them some time to catch up, especially since the snow is supposed to last into Wednesday. I've got a friend that works there and he knows the operations pretty well.

The Heave is the spot for me tomorrow. Dipper and Comet (and Olympic) are going to be money. Thank you snow gods.
post #6 of 23
There is no such thing as a bad season in tahoe....

http://www.tahoereview.com/content/view/64/36/
post #7 of 23
SouthLake is correct. I was at Kirkwood on Sunday and only chairs 1 and 5 were open (I think 7 opened later). Everything else was closed, including 88 on both directions. Had to spend the night there. Staying at a lodge is not my diea of camping :-)
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
At this point all three highways are closed and getting to Tahoe from the West is not happening. 50, 80 and 88 area going to be a real mess. I'll be surprised if 88 opens by Wednesday, but I'm hoping. Huge avys are occurring naturally, and of course Cal trans intentionally triggers slides above the highways to keep things from getting too big. There may be 5 to 6 feet of unskied snow at Kirkwood.
Strange, i had friends in Minden drive up nv 207 aka Kinsbury Grade last night. SO it was open. Took them about and hr and half to get to the south shore, but they made it.
post #9 of 23
Skied SAT Fri,Sun and Mon. What they say is true. The snow is great. SAT was open top to bottom with only the back side closed on Mon. Powder powder powder. Ya the roads were slow but I made it out Monday before the closure. This weekend should be great with blue skies and plenty of snow.
post #10 of 23
50 had been well cleared today when I drove up. Thought there was maybe a problem when the chain control flagged me down but they just wanted to know how long it had taken me to drive here from Maine! Guess I should get the plates changed .:

Skied Heavenly from midday, great snow, knee deep most places. They also got Mott Canyon lift opened up about 2.00 and it was near waist deep in places. Hardly anyone skiing it so plenty of opportunity for fresh lines. A few face plants too :

Forecast is talking about another 6"+ tonight . Time to try out the new Titan nines tomorrow if that is the case.
post #11 of 23
thanks for the review. stuck on the West side of the Sierras; suppose to go up Monday. Opinions about getting thru tomorrow via the 50?
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allMTgrl View Post
thanks for the review. stuck on the West side of the Sierras; suppose to go up Monday. Opinions about getting thru tomorrow via the 50?

Shouldn't be any problem. i drove up from the Bay. Snow line started about 10 miles out of placerville. Chain controls were in place but in reality the road was practically clear.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
Shouldn't be any problem. i drove up from the Bay. Snow line started about 10 miles out of placerville. Chain controls were in place but in reality the road was practically clear.
A friend in Tahoe said South Shore is bad; schools have been closed for two days.. Where did you ski? I'm already going up Sunday, but was thinking of making two trips (one tomorrow+Sun's).. can't decide. don't know how fresh conditions will be after the weekend? I don't want to be a fool and rush where angels fear to tread either. Right now the 80 is closed.
post #14 of 23
I got to Kirkwood today to enjoy the epic powder. Had to drive over 50 past Sierra at Tahoe, to 89 then over Luther Pass to 88, and finally over Carson Pass to Kirkwood. Worth the driving. Had a great day and even got to ski the Salomon AK Rocket Lab Swalowtails.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allMTgrl View Post
A friend in Tahoe said South Shore is bad; schools have been closed for two days.. Where did you ski? I'm already going up Sunday, but was thinking of making two trips (one tomorrow+Sun's).. can't decide. don't know how fresh conditions will be after the weekend? I don't want to be a fool and rush where angels fear to tread either. Right now the 80 is closed.
i skied Heavenly today. Yes, there is lots of snow in town but traffic is moving OK You should go for it now if you get the chance
post #16 of 23
Mud slide closed hwy 50 at Pollock Pines this am. Check with caltrans before you drive.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson View Post
Mud slide closed hwy 50 at Pollock Pines this am. Check with caltrans before you drive.
This news makes me have no regrets for not heading up this AM. Although the pow is going to be epic these next two days, I guess it's my destiny to wait until the roads are cleared. I may not get up untill Sunday though, which is so hard to swallow. I wonder if there will be any fresh lines come Sunday and Monday.. any opinions?
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allMTgrl View Post
I wonder if there will be any fresh lines come Sunday and Monday.. any opinions?
what r u smokin???
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty View Post
what r u smokin???
that isn't very nice. i read that this last storm is part two of three... i was asking your opinion why the insult?
post #20 of 23
I don't mean to insult you. but for somebody who calls herself allMTgrl - you seem to be a little clueless. there are trip reports all over this board about people skiing thru the storm - driving 6-10 hours last sunday/monday. have you wondered why they are doing it.

if one wants to sit back, watch traffic reports about hwy 80 on TV and go to tahoe when there are no chain restrictions - i think it is highly unrealistic to expect any fresh tracks. I am going tomorrow and I am not expecting any fresh tracks. a quick check of the weather for this weekend will show you that the temps in tahoe are going be to close to 50 !!!
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
so why not take 80 today?. Chaining is not req, just that you must have them in the car/ truck, ready to install.
Waiting for the weekend, i wouldn't ,Do you realize how nuts this entire region is going to be staRTting Friday night, with the Bay area comming up. Glad im skiing Thursday / Friday.
post #22 of 23
Was lucky enough to ski Kirkwood the last 2 days and gorged on powder. In S Lake Tues night it looked very iffy with 88 closed and the snow hammering down. Thanks to our good friends at Caltrans Carson Pass opened Tues ~ 8am and a surprisingly few made the trek to the wood. I think the Spur was closed all day further holding down the crowd.
It was by far the lowest crowds for a great powder day that Ive seen at the wood- I was on 10th chair on 6, skied a primo powder run and skied right on the chair for the next ride up-no line. Later in the day chair 10 and palisades opened virtually simultaneously - chose palisades and had some great tree/roller runs off the traverse . Today was off the charts as well as some new snow and wind gave us a refill and they opened the backside- Thunder saddle was sweet. As said earlier you need to be poised to catch these days when they happen. Im sure it will be excellent thru Fri- but it is going to get warmer this weekend and decrease the quality of the snow and increasing the crowds big time.
post #23 of 23
OOPs, it was Monday night that the snow was hammering in S Lake and the roads were closed- My bad
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