Steamboat Mid-February Snowstorm
This season has been a slow snow season. We get a few to several inches each week, but the big snowstorms have been elusive.
I’ve come to really enjoy having multiple days in a row when I look outside throughout the day, or night, and see snow continuing to fall. I quote one of my favorite Teton Gravity Research lines “It’s still snowing!” every time.
This year has been quite different. We have had some snow storms, but they were quick. And we had one snow squall where the snow came in at 40 miles an hour and dumped 4” in 45 minutes. The storm looked like a dust storm moving across the land. Lightning and thunder lasted the entire time. After living in mountain areas for over 40 years, I’ve never seen anything like this. Here is a video of it that was shot from southeast Steamboat Springs:
This week is a few snow storms in a row. Town is pretty excited. We have heard stories of the new four feet of snow in the Sierras. I know- that’s common. But not this year. The projection is 8-16 inches of new snow on the mountain. In town, that will be 4+” over the week. Maybe as much as 10” in town.
Wednesday update: Well, the snow was supposed to begin at noon. No snow has come about. And interestingly enough, it’s supposed to rain a couple hours before! This is the beginning of February. It shouldn’t rain until later March. With as warm as it is, and the delay in precipitation, it looks good for a big dump of snow.
Around 5:00 it started snow and rain mix. By 7:00 it was snowing consistently- a light, constant snow. Over the next few hours it snowed over a couple inches, but the warm air prior melted off a significant amount. I went to bed after gazing out over the south valley – I saw thick clouds lit up by city lights, and flakes continuing to fall. In the morning, I had inches on my truck. There was 7 inches at the top of Storm Peak.
Now for Friday! We are supposed to get up to two feet of snow for the whole weekend. By the time I made it the resort in the afternoon, there was a great base of new snow. The turns were light and the snow fun to maneuver. The snow brought lots of control, so the runs were fast. I will disclose that there was a big wind, probably 40 miles an hour. For me and my ski buddy, we found Ted’s Ridge to have great snow and no wind, and no one on it. It was a great afternoon.
For the weekend, I saved the Saturday snow for the tourists in town. They enjoyed an 18 inch storm total day. From what I heard, the snow was excellent and crowds heavy. All across the ski towns of Colorado, the resorts were filled with Front Range visitors who also had not see any good snow all season. I’m grateful to have been up on Friday, and going on Sunday.
Sunday was all fun. The snow was a little bit like cake, and overall great to push on. Getting a couple of days on the hill has made my demeanor sooooo much better!