Originally Posted by Bob Peters
We were a little different, in that we had moderate snow and moderate wind all night. Our snow report this morning was 12" new at 6:00am and snowing hard.
I was riding the Sublette Chair at about 9:45am when the STORM hit. We went from breezy with light snow to what must have been 50-60mph gusts in maybe FIVE MINUTES!!! More snow was falling out of the sky than I've ever seen in 30+ years of skiing here.
I was about five chairs up from the base of the lift when they stopped loading new riders. They then starting *inching* the chair up to unload those of us who were already riding the chairs. The oncoming unloaded chairs were blowing almost horizontally. I was seriously scared that they would stop the lift and start an evac rather than run the rest of us to the top. The two guys I was with had semi-serious frostbite on noses and cheeks by the time we unloaded. I was fully encased in hat, goggles, and neck gaiter with zero exposed skin.
I know that "brutal" is a word that's thrown around pretty casually, but this chair ride was brutal.
It was something to see.
I just thought I'd throw in a postscirpt...
I was talking with with a patroller this morning and learned that my estimate of the windspeed during my ride up that chair yesterday was WAY off.
Winds at the midmountain weather site were a sustained 80mph-plus for that half hour to forty-five minutes when the front came through. Top gust was 92mph.
I don't want to do that again.
And in keeping with the strange weather, I had a bizarre experience during my run down after that chair ride yesterday. I was skiing down the far skier's-left tree line on North Hoback and was about 2/3 of the way down when I spotted a couple of friends stopped along the edge of the run. I stopped for a minute to marvel with them at the howling wind, pouring snow, and zilch visibility.
While we were standing there, we heard a shout from the whiteout above. About that same time, we saw an object hurtling down the slope, being blown by the wind. We thought it was a tree branch and watched it bounce down the hill at a high rate of speed about thirty feet in front of us. We were never quite able to make out what it was before it disappeared below in the void.
I later found out it was a pair of goggles. A man had stopped above us to clear his goggles and the wind just ripped them out of his hands. That's the object we watched going about thirty miles an hour down North Hoback.