Dates: Saturday, December 5 & Sunday, December 6, 2015
Location: South Lake Tahoe
Skiers: Sat: Andrew, Alex, Noah and Nick; Sun: Andrew, Mike and Nick
Photos: As Noted
Synopsis: Last Thursday, another small storm fell dropping between 5-12 inches of snow across the Lake Tahoe basin, depending on aspect and elevation. Saturday was largely a warming trend and rather mild weather, while Sunday brought very intense, gale-force winds (with gusts of near 90 mph on higher elevation ridge tops late Sunday afternoon).
On Saturday, we tried to ski some zones that ended up being pretty rocky and thin and definitely need another couple of feet of snow to really come into play. Still the views of the Lake cannot be beat on a calm, clear day.
Andrew skinning up, enjoying the day. Photo: Nick
Up top, a very easy scramble to one of the better summits in Tahoe. This is much easier than this picture makes it look – the foreshortening of the camera really makes this look steeper than it is. Photo: Nick
Fortunately the winds on Saturday were pretty mellow (although it was cold up top). Trying to stand here on Sunday would have likely blown us into the Lake! Click the pano for a full sized version. Photo: Nick
I was pretty pumped to be chilling up there, back again for another couple of days skiing powder. Photo: Andrew
Up top, the snow was a touch wind affected, but still soft. However, the coverage at this elevation was really lacking. We basically picked our way down very slowly to avoid hitting too many rocks. Lesson learned = early season needs higher elevations! Photo: Nick
Alex working his way down. Photo: Andrew
There were fleeting moments of hero snow, only to then immediately ding a rock 3 turns later! Photo: Andrew
We called it quits after one lap on account of the coverage really thinning out down near lake level.
On Sunday, Andrew, Mike and I wanted to head to higher elevation to ensure the coverage was adequate, but we were also combatting insane winds all day – so we went to a treed zone.
South Side of Mt. Tallac in the distance. Photo: Nick
Andrew and Mike hanging out on the summit – definitely better coverage up at this elevation. Although the winds were really strong, it was not too bad (but very cold!). Click the pano for a full sized version. Photos: Nick
Up top, the snow was awesome (albeit a bit heavy due to some warming). Mike getting deep! Photo: Andrew
Let’s take another look at that….Wait, what’s that? Yes, that is Mike given his “O Face”! Photo: Andrew (O Face Graphic courtesy of Mike)
Mike redeems himself with more great turns. Photo: Andrew
However, Mike’s confidence continues to build, and he decides to open it up and jump off some stuff…. Never a good idea early season – hits a rock, goes over the handle bars essentially almost into a tree! Wrist was a little sore, but otherwise Mike was OK and laughing about it. Photo: Nick
The snow was pretty solid, but did warm up as you loosed elevation. Photos: Mike and Nick, respectively
Down low outside of the deeper snow, coverage remained OK however. Andrew giving the ski racer form and Mike heading off. Photos: Nick
Another couple of great days in the mountains! Here is hoping these next series of forecasted storms deliver the large snowfall amounts being predicted!