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Mon, Aug

California Dreamin' A Reality As Powder Piles Up In The Sierra

Sierra-at-Tahoe cheered as major Pacific storms rolled into the Sierra. (Sierra-at-Tahoe/Facebook)

OK, so we on the West Coast have been pleading and praying for powder this season, especially on the heels of a couple of subpar winters where puttin' on the fatboys and breathing through a snorkel seemed but distant memories.

Well, in 2019, the snow gods apparently heard us … loud and clear. Pacific storms have been rolling in since the beginning of the new year. They started out dumping on the Northwest and then staying on line to pummel the northern Rockies in Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado.

As January played out and February began, however, these storms began to track more southward and, lo and behold, they found the Sierra as a welcome drop zone.

Again and again and again.

As we head toward the busy February vacation time, no one should disappointed with what they find out West – especially in the California mountains. Six feet in a storm became the “new normal.” Check out some of the extremes.

Where's the house? Mammoth had to handle nearly 100 inches in five days. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

Sierra-at-Tahoe got 7-1/2 feet in a single storm, as did Homewood. Mammoth Mountain saw more than 10 feet in 72 hours. So much snow fell that mountain operations at both resorts have been cut back, and the Main Lodge at Mammoth was closed.

Multi-foot storms brought skiers and riders to June Mountain in droves. (June Mountain/Facebook)

Digging out became a daily chore at California resorts like Dodge Ridge. (Dodge Ridge/Facebook)

Mammoth's sister resort, June Mountain, took in 10 feet in three days and shut down the whole mountain for at least a day to dig out. At Dodge Ridge Ski Area – the closest to the Bay Area – more than eight feet has fallen on the summit in four days. Mountain officials say all but one lift is running, but there are delays opening some as crews shovel out the loading and unloading areas.

Where's the snowboarder? Bottomless powder at Sugar Bowl engulfs rider. (Sugar Bowl/Facebook)

Welcome to Squaw ... but you'll have to wait for us to dig out the lifts. (Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows/Facebook)

Other resorts on the north end of Lake Tahoe got equally hammered. Sugar Bowl measured 170 inches of base, Squaw and Alpine Meadows report 160-inches bases, and Mt. Rose has 120 inches of settled base depth.

Mt. Rose reporting a storm total of over 50 inches and counting. (Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe/Facebook)

 


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