A Big La Nina weather pattern is forecasted for the coming winter, and the winter crew got our yurts up early, on the shoulder of William Peak anticipating the season. During the last 10-day period, the weather gods delivered over 3 inches of snow water equivalent which came in with intensity beginning October 23 through October 27, and has resulted in a couple of moist winter storms leaving our ski huts blanketed in snow. Just to celebrate Halloween Day and the Big coming winter, Buster (my dog) and I headed up to the hut for a snowpack check. Throughout the the hike from Redfish up to the hut, the mountains were hiding, shrouded in clouds. As of October 31, the valley is still snow free, but as we climbed, the snow started to accumulate– Snow report: 30cms (one foot at 7,600 ft.) 45-60 cms. (1.5 to 2 ft) @ 8,000 ft.
Of my 30 years of ski guiding in the Sawtooths, this is the best base layer of snow I can remember! During the hike, as the snow grew deeper, an awesome base snow pack actually supported Busters weight, and usually she’s a serious post-holer! With nearly 2 feet in the deeper locations you could sample the snow from any depth in the snowpack and easily squeeze a snowball into compacted shape. Now thats good base snow! Additional snow layers in the storms to come will have a great foundation.
Needless to say it was a great way to spend Halloween day! The day of Re-Con provided a positive outlook toward a strong and deep snowpack for a great season in the backcountry to come. Stay tuned…Keep track of the next storms in the weeks ahead, and follow the early season at our website on our weather and snow page. Get your skis and snowboards ready– we are way ahead of the last several winter seasons for this date. Trick or Treat!!
-Kirk and Buster