Originally Posted by SierraJim
I have skied primarily in Tahoe for 30 years (with a 4 yr. hiatus in Stowe). IME, the times when the snow hard enough to even resemble a hard snow day in the east is maybe 5%. Even at worst, usually we'll have rocklike stuff for an hour or so in the AM then softening after that.
OK, time to trot out symbolic capital. Let's see: First skied at Tahoe in winter of 1958. (Yeah, the one where you could stand in the middle of Tahoe City, look out at the embankment that drops off to the lake, and see snow up to your eye level. Used to be a tree with a marker on its trunk, in fact.) Relatives and grandparents owned up there, so by 1960 was living near Tahoe City summers and over winter school break, that went on for about 15 years, then skied there about 2-3 weeks each winter for another 10 years, then moved out of California, but have continued to ski there most winters when I visit people in SF. Adds up to 51 years, but I bet fewer total days than SJ. Plus sure he's a far better skier. And spent a lot of time in Sacramento, so he deserves points for sheer tenacity.
All that said, I think his 5% figure is just nuts. Siberia at Squaw came to define "scratchy" for me as a kid. The Valley Run was the original Ski Cross on an ice rink, collisions every 10 feet. Red Dog had whole weeks where the bumps were too hard for anyone to ski, even patrol guys. I'd like to say I've noticed a great improvement, say due to global warming, but that would be lying. If anything, the winters have more thaws, and definitely less total snowpack, than back in the day. Heard a bit on NR that the NW has half the snowpack at the end of the season it had 50 years ago. Suspect similar for Tahoe.
Now our disagreement may reflect where we ski - I've mostly skied Squaw and Alpine over the years, a bit at Sugar Bowl, Heavenly and Northstar, only a few times at Kirkwood. (And a bunch as a little kid at Granlibachen. RIP ) I notice that coming from Sacto, SJ has spent a lot of time at Sugar Bowl and Kirkwood, both of which are less exposed to the wind, so maybe I just have been randomly assigned sucky snow. Or maybe he just blots out the horrible stuff at Squaw.
Or it may reflect different definitions of eastern ice. Notice, Jim, that I said "approaches" eastern conditions. Nothing out west actually reaches them.
But I'll hold my ground here. I also know Tahoe, and sorry, but it gets sh**loads of, ah, very hard snow. And our new climate will continue to make sure that's true.