What a difference a few days makes. T-shirts, sunshine and warm weather was the order of the day in Lake Tahoe today. So were the crowds as the weekend warriors were out in force enjoying the glorious weather following the recent storms.
Early today, the car park filled up at Northstar California and you could tell it was going to be busy. Mid week, we pretty much had the village and mountain to ourselves, though today was a very different story.
The great thing about a big mountain is that it is very easy to get away from the crowds… once you get up the lift. With today being one of the busier days of the season, a 5-10 minute wait in lift lines was not uncommon until after lunch.
As usual, the crowds began to die down later in the day and the best turns were found later as well as the snow began to soften in the sun.
If you go in the trees, be aware that conditions are variable. Sometimes, you can link dozens of turns on glorious soft snow and then out of nowhere, it can get very hard packed and icy.
At the moment, we are in the middle of a freeze / thaw scenario where the snow sets below freezing overnight, then melts with warmer temperatures during the day. Generally, this is not great, except for the fact that we have great snow coverage on the entire mountain at the moment and there is plenty to go around.
Looking forward, we have a large high pressure system setting up smack bang over the entire west and can expect everyone to enjoy a week of warmer temperatures and sunshine.
When will it snow again? We are as yet unsure, though long range models show the high pressure breaking down some time a week or two from now. Fingers are crossed.