Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Storm Diaries

The skies opened up last week in a deluge of unimaginable proportions, at one point dropping 7” of rain on Snoqualmie Pass in a 24-hour period. The avalanche danger spiked with the weight of the saturated snow on some weaker layers underneath, and the roads and ski areas all closed. A few Summit locals passed the time stranded at the Pass by documenting the road conditions (“bare & wet”) with summer-like enthusiasm.

Post-storm, the snowpack appears to be much more homogenous, eliminating some lurking layers that threatened large slides throughout the season. However, the changing conditions during the storm unleashed unprecedented destruction in a number of places. The moderately sloped main run of Hyak ski area the Pass, a regular touring site for early season or high avalanche danger, slid to the ground on Wednesday with massive amounts of mud, taking out a couple lift tours and hitting at least two homes at the base.

The rain has now passed here, and we're setting up for warm temps but sunny skis for the near future. Skiing should be nice and soft, but we really need some new snow to fill in the holes and creek beds, and cover all the rain runnels for touring.

Further north and east, Evan Stevens sent us the update from Valhalla Mountain Touring that the lodge seems to have weather the Pineapple Express with all snow. Glad to hear, as we’re heading that way in March, and the snow keeps piling up there:

While the coast has been getting rain of biblical proportions, the interior of British Columbia has been getting pounded by METERS of snow. We have had avalanches run that have not run in anyone's living memory. Up at Valhalla Mountain Touring, we have been braving the weather in the safe tree skiing right out our door, and not stepping any further away. Making ski decisions in times like this in the backcountry is easy, avoid anything even remotely close to avalanche terrain at all costs! The clear weather is here, so now we will get to see what kind of damage mother nature has caused. Here is a bit of a video diary from last week, enjoy!

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Ski Peaks said...

Wow great post my friend! Surely it is a storm. Lucky for you guys. Better check the climate when gong snow sports activities.

Anonymous said...


what's that song @ the end of the vid?