Alta, UT 4/24/2015

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Alta, UT 4/24/2015

Postby Admin » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:26 pm

Day 59: The warm before the storm.

I sat in the kitchen on Friday morning watching the weather station at mid-Collins, where temps barely got above freezing and a light breeze blew, and the webcams from adjacent Snowbird (as Alta's still aren't back online) showing a mix of sun and clouds. I thus figured that surfaces would be slow to soften, and didn't get up there until lunchtime. There couldn't have been 50 cars in the Wildcat lot when I arrived.

Boy, was that a mistake! So, too, was venturing onto Backside for first run, for the snow on that northeast-facing aspect had already turned to unconsolidated glop. I was utterly alone from the time I left Germania Pass to the time I got to Sunnyside, making me realize that if I wrenched a knee in this stuff I'd be sitting there for a long, long time. At least the week's warmth and lack of skier traffic had left Backside nice and smooth.


Surely, the desert dust that blew in on last week's windstorm accelerated the heating of the snowpack.

Brown snow everywhere

The "Sugarloaf backcountry" policy was in full effect.

Germania Pass

However, I never got back there, for after only a few runs a squall line moved in.

The squall line approaches

As enticing skiing crappy snow had been, I nevertheless didn't feel like adding zero visibility and stinging, wind-driven graupel to the mix, so I high-tailed it out of there.

Mt. Superior disappears

The snow was strangely accompanied by that unmistakable smell of a springtime rain shower. The precipitation had changed over to rain before I even got to Snowbird Entry 4 -- the frozen precipitation level was right around 8,200 feet. I'd save myself for Saturday.

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