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.

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Backside


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

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Brown snow everywhere


The "Sugarloaf backcountry" policy was in full effect.

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Germania Pass


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

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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.

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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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