My head is still spinning after what seemed like powder jail to one of the best scores of the season. Interlodge lifted on Thursday after 60 hours of staring out the window to amazing rewards by 11 AM with empty slopes.
Some lucky folks that got trapped in Little Cottonwood in Utah since Monday night grabbed nearly 50-60 inches of powder (100 inches over 7 days), as both Alta and Snowbird opened around 11 am Thursday. It's ironic that our inter lodge of 60 hours pretty much matched the storm totals. The road remained closed Thursday morning, so the only folks skiing were the lucky souls that were in the lodges. It's like \Ullr\" the snow god said, \"These guys deserve it\" just as some of us were going stir crazy. Follow @lstone84 on Instagram for more footage from this epic bluebird country club day. Meanwhile, in other areas of Utah, deep snow was being reported from the Logan Valley, Park City, and to a higher extent Solitude and Brighton on Tuesday and Wednesday. My gut was dropping seeing some of the snow totals each morning as my workdays in my room at the Cliff looked like this below. The best thing you can do is avoid social media, TV, and suck up the reality that this decision to risk an extended Interlodge might hit a home run. Did I ever expect the road to remain closed just as the Ski Area's reopened? No! A home run accomplished. Thursday was great!
HATS OF TO SKI PATROLS IN LITTLE COTTONWOOD that completed routes on the mountains each day along with multiple road mitigation shoots.
Below: Interlodge at the Clif Lodge for 60 hours.
Here is the part might get your stomach churning since most of you reading were not there.
Below: 1st Tram at Snowbird Thursday morning after 80-inch storm totals. @pwderchasersteve via IG
Was it worth the wait? 100% yes. The snow was deep, a bit compacted in the lower layers but a feeling of bottomless surfing float, let it rip no bumps and face powder on every turn. Pure White Room and no crowds. One of my best days in many years especially with the Bluebird start in the morning.
Below: Where is this guys car? @powderchasersteve via Instagram
Let's get on with the weather forecast!
Looking at models and snow data on Friday morning it appears that the Tetons are once again scoring powder. 7 inches has fallen at Targhee as of 7:30 AM, and slightly lower amounts at JHMR. Snow will continue lightly for the Tetons for most of Friday (Additional 3-6). 1st and last chairs Friday will be good. Mt Baker in Washington scored 9 inches of cold pow last night with Stevens Pass near 7 inches (Warming trend).
The system from the PNW moves over the central panhandle of Idaho (Lookout Pass) Friday afternoon, pushing south bringing some moderate snow to the McCall area mountains as well as Sun Valley (3-7). This transitions east over the Tetons and Wasatch for Friday night. Expect 8-10 inches additional for the Tetons for Saturday morning and 6-11 (Terrain dependant) inches for some areas of Utah. With westerly winds, all-mountain ranges stand a decent chance of a good powder day in Utah Saturday morning. There might be some surprises even north of the Salt Lake Valley. Snow continues into Saturday for the Wasatch Range with some additional light or moderate snow during the day bumping totals up a bit.
Below: Low confidence (Widely spaced lines) on anywhere from 8-14 inches for Alta by Saturday morning with multiple ensemble runs.
Colorado grabs powder during the day Saturday through Sunday morning. It's a quick-moving system that could spread 5-9 inches over most of the northern and central mountains (Orographics aside from moisture with West or NW winds could ramp up what the models are showing). This will freshen up the slopes over I-70 south to Aspen, and north to Steamboat. While previous storms favored the western slope and southern mountains, this seems to trend further east from the Continental Divide, along I-70, Berthoud Pass, Loveland, WP, the Boat, and through to Aspen. Not a big storm but snowing on Saturday and early Sunday.
The Sierra grabs 5-10 inches Friday night favoring the northern ranges.
The extended continues a wet pattern for the PNW with a warming trend for the weekend. A very cold airmass will approach the PNW and Rockies by Tuesday or Wednesday bringing a good chance of decent dumps midweek.
Below: 10K foot temps (C) are fairly warm by late this weekend and Monday.
Below: Much colder air accompanied by snow by Tuesday for the northern Rockies that will push south by midweek.
Alaska Update: Valdez is deep! Snow banks are over 10 feet high at sea level. If you want to still get in on the few remaining seats to Heli Ski (Limited) please reach out to Alaska Backcountry Guides who we trust highly for a great deep lines. Powderchasers is offering a free mid level concierge for this or next season for any ABG trips. Also, with the demand for skiing way up, there is not a better way to jump into untouched terrain with small group Heli Runs.
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Enjoy the powder everyone!