In The Spotlight
A storm that may end up being the largest from coast-to-coast is already underway. From blizzard conditions in California to feet in the East, we’ve got the entire breakdown here for where to ski and ride in the coming week.
Western U.S. & Canada
This week’s SnoCast revolves around one *major* storm, so let’s follow it from west to east. If you want the East coast details right now, just scroll down a bit. An ongoing blizzard will be dumping feet of snow in California’s Sierra Nevada range Thursday. In total, as much as 50-65” (4 to 5 FEET) of snow will fall this week (through Jan. 18) and during the event, peak wind gusts may reach 130 mph at the ridgelines. Thursday-Friday this storm spreads across nearly each state in the West, providing 12-16” for many. The Pacific Northwest and Canada will get two systems Saturday and Sunday, providing 6-9” of fresh snow this weekend. Monday will provide moderate snowfall across the U.S. Rockies, leading to bluebird conditions Tuesday. This week we love Utah’s Park City and Alta plus California’s Mammoth and Kirkwood Mountains.
Eastern U.S. & Canada
Get ready for a big weekend storm! However, beforehand, a much weaker low pressure will glide across the East Thursday night to Friday, providing 2-4” of snow for the mountains. The West coast system (mentioned above) will arrive in the East Saturday night, lasting all day Sunday. This has big snow potential with highest amounts away from the Atlantic coastline. All snow is likely for interior locations and a snow-to-rain mix for southern New England and the mid-Atlantic. There will be a widespread swath of 6-12” of snow with several locations getting 24”! Bitter cold will rush in Monday, keeping the snow light and fluffy. Tuesday will still be cold, then another winter storm could arrive as early as Wednesday. This week we love Gore Mountain, Okemo, Cannon, Sugarloaf and Mont Sutton.
Until next week! Thanks to Northern Vermont University – Lyndon meteorology students James Mundy and Francis Tarasiewicz for contributions to this article.
With 200 inches of snow already this season, Wyoming’s Grand Targhee Resort is a powder paradise and a hidden gem among all the major Western resorts.
Celebrating its 50th season, Grand Targhee Resort is a year-round mountain resort situated in the Western slope of the Tetons in Alta, Wyoming. Located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the resort averages more than 500 inches of snow annually, which ranks among the top five resorts for snowfall in the United States. Plus, the resort features a 2,200 vertical drop and more than 2,600 acres of terrain.
From snowcat skiing serving fresh tracks to hikeabe terrain off Mary’s Nipple, 15k of groomed classic and freestyle Nordic Skiing, and winter fat biking, Grand Targhee offers a whole host of winter activities. In fact, Grand Targhee Resort was the first ski resort in the United States to embrace and endorse winter fat bikes on the Nordic trail system. At Grand Targhee, biking is a year-round sport – and fat bikers enjoy access to 15k of groomed Nordic track and over 7 miles of singletrack trails.
Nestled above the scenic Teton Valley, Idaho, Grand Targhee Resort is 42 miles from Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and 82 miles from Idaho Falls, Idaho; and under four hours from Bozeman, Montana. Yellowstone National Park is a scenic two-hour drive and Grand Teton National Park is a 90-minute drive.
The resort features numerous restaurants and shopping option both in the resort village and nearby in Driggs and Victor, Idaho, where you’ll the Grand Teton Brewing Company, Wildlife Brewing and the Grand Teton Distillery.
Grand Targhee Resort is continually recognized for its great snow, unparalleled mountain biking, genuine Western hospitality, scenic beauty, and excellent value, including a fourth night of lodging free. Book three-night stay in a Grand Targhee vacation rental and the fourth night is free. Plus, kids 12 and under always stay free when lodging three or more nights.
Michigan snowboarder David Zemens and friend Sabato Caputo have set a new North American record for snowboarding the most ski areas in a 24-hour period. They were able to hit 16 ski areas starting Friday evening, Jan. 11 in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula and ending Saturday evening on Jan. 12 near Detroit.
The old record was set in Vermont in 2013 by a crew from Snowboarder Magazine when they visited 12 ski areas in 24-hours. It was something Zemens, who hosts the popular snowboard website, agnarchy.com, had been thinking about ever since.
“I’ve been thinking about attempting something like that in my home state since reading that article in the magazine, over five years. This winter it finally came together with the help of Mickey McWilliams, executive director for Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA), who lined up all the ski areas so they would be expecting and ready for us,” Zemens told SnoCountry.com. “I thought maybe it would become an ordeal along the way, but it was fun and we never got tired. The ski areas were great, and we had people at many of the areas cheering us on.
“We are already thinking about ways and routes that we might be able to break the world record, which was 17 ski areas in Japan over 24-hours, according to Guinness,” Zemens laughed. “I think for the rest of this winter I’m going to enjoy visiting local ski areas near my home in Rockford.”
They started their record breaking trip by visiting Boyne Highlands, Nubs Nob and Boyne Mountain in the northwestern corner of The Mitten on Friday night. On Saturday morning they started at Treetops and Otsego Club in Gaylord, than on to Shanty Creek where they rode both Summit Mountain and Schuss Mountain slopes. Next was Mt. Holiday and Hickory Hills in Traverse City. That was followed by Crystal Mountain, Caberfae Peaks and Snow Snake in the central part of Lower Michigan. Heading on to the southeast corner of the Wolverine State they stopped at Mt. Holly, Alpine Valley, Pine Knob and finished at Mt. Brighton with an hour to spare on the record run.
They had a friend drive them on the demanding trip so they were able to stay dressed for boarding and ready to go as soon as they arrived, which helped immensely with time.
“Michigan has a lot of neat ski areas, and it was great just seeing all the people using the snowboard parks. Young and old they were having a great time,” said Caputo.
Michigan has the second most ski areas in the United States, only behind New York. It has 49 ski areas, 269 lifts, 50 terrain parks, nearly 1,000 runs and the only ski flying hill in the country. It is snow country.
For any skier or rider, their bucket list includes not only visits to renowned resorts but also taking a run down a trail they've heard about for a long time. Here's SnoCountry's shot at those trails.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Green Valley run atop Crystal Mountain opens with a vast bowl on top that consumes 60 percent of the 900 ft. vert, and a second bowl with tons of chutes and trees, Green Valley deserves its kudos. The high-speed Green Valley Express cycles quickly, and the summit view of 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier rivals any.
Squaw Valley is known for tree-dotted chutes, steep bowls and rocky gullies – some of the best on the West Face of KT-22. It's 2,000 ft. of vert with serious continuous pitch. Check out Chute 75 and Moseley's before returning on Home Run. High-speed quad serves whole area.
A new high-speed quad now glides over Al's Run, the first trail cut at Taos Ski Valley and a popular belt-notcher. Dropping 1,800 vertical from mid-mountain, mile-long Al's Run is a cherished first-chair run on a powder day, and a source of thigh-burning moguls. Beware, too: There's no easier way down once you're on Al's.
Named for an original stockholder, Ruthie's Run follows the western ridge of Aspen Mountain. Starting at 10,400-foot, the iconic track pitches modestly through a funnel of trees and dipping hollow before it opens into Ruthie's Snow Bowl, where the pitch reaches 34 degrees. The bottom of the chair is a welcome sight. If thighs are up to it, pick up the lower World Cup downhill with black diamonds Spring Pitch, Strawpile and Norway to the base.
Officially Alf's High Rustler, this dive-in-and-pray chute at Alta attracts bucket-listers to its 800 feet of vert in a quarter mile. Conquering High Rustler means navigating the High Traverse, a lengthy, gnarly clatter off the Collins Lift. From there, entry is tight and first turns require go-for-it 'tude. Know, too, that an audience from the base deck is watching.