Hot American Shit Show: Wydaho Snow: 3.13.16


Despite sustained freakishly high temps there has still been soft, creamy snow on some aspects above 9000’… for powderhounds willing to work for it.  Lift serviced spring skiing has also been pretty good for most of the last month though local resorts are starting to run out of snow at lower elevations on some aspects.

Wydaho skier stoke levels are currently hovering lower than our relatively skinny snowpack.  I, for one, am getting tired of the ongoing heatwave and lack of snow.  It’s supposed to cool down soon but I’m not holding my breath as current forecasts differ dramatically.

It seems the geoengineers are hellbent on proving their point this winter that human-caused climate change is warming the planet.  The mainstream neglects to mention how that is actually happening (hint: it’s NOT co2), which is where websites like this one can come in handy. 🙂

Nationwide a disturbing trend has continued from coast to coast over the last last six months: it’s hot as hell, historically speaking.

shit show

Today’s much anticipated Wydaho “snow” storm is having a hard time getting going on account of current air temps of 40*F in Alpine and 38*F in Jackson.  It’s drizzling right now in the TOJ.  Even as it snows at mid and upper elevations, we are certainly not getting near as much total precip as we would if temps dropped to historically typical levels.

It is important to remember that cold air can hold a lot less water vapor than warm air.  For example, a kilogram of 41*F air can hold a whopping 5 grams of water vapor while a kilogram of 14*F air can hold a less than half that (1.8 grams of water vapor).

A kilogram of -40*F air can hold a measly 0.1 gram of water vapor, which explains why we don’t see too much precipitation when temps dip well below zero.

Specific humidity of a kilogram of air

Long story short, as a warm, moist air mass get lifted by the mountains it cools and — during a natural Wydaho winter — pukes snow.  If temps are 10 to 20 degrees warmer than normal, we get less total precipitation and it is probably going to fall as rain instead of snow.

At 35-45*F there may be plenty of water vapor in the atmosphere, but it’s perfectly content to stay there as it passes overhead instead of falling as precipitation.  If temps dropped just a few degrees we would get pounded.  Bummer.

So where is the snow good despite institutionalized insanity and democratic lethargy?

Yesterday I skinned Snow King with Bartelby and found great spring skiing.  That said, patches of grass starting to show on some groomers and rocks already getting tossed up on the cat tracks.  The odds of a Hill Climb this winter as slim.  Local businesses will take a hit but not too many people seem heartbroken by the possibility of another cancelled World Championship.

Two days ago I headed up to 10,200′ in the Salt River Range and found decent soft snow down to ~9000′ on wind and sun protected aspects.  Below 9000′ things got really crusty and breakable.  Below 7000′ it was spring skiing on a shallow base that looks like it will rot out soon.

A few days before that I had a mini epic in GTNP where a partner took a wrong turn and got lost.  I ended up booting ~1000′ back up a steep N facing shot to reunite with the prodigal powderhound.  We found good snow in the shade down to ~9000′ with spottier conditions becoming bonafied rain crust around 7500′.

If you’re looking for good snow tomorrow Teton Pass or the resort slackcountry may be your best bet.  With a rain/snow mix falling at mid and lower elevations, getting high may be the thing to do.  Have fun.  Be safe.  One Love.  Peace!

3 thoughts on “Hot American Shit Show: Wydaho Snow: 3.13.16”

  1. Max. Your understanding of “THINGS” is…”as” Reality. Very well done as usual. Please continue, and thank you. I’m doing same…and shall continue.

    Chris Riverton.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey thanks for the report. Love reading yours because you are pretty honest about the ski conditions. Ellen H.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

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