Snow for Nordic Skiing Holiday Warm Up

Earning it for the Holidays: Weather by Carols

California, Nevada and Utah

Let it Snow

“Oh the weather outside if frightful. But the fire is so delightful.”

High winds have slammed into the west turning ventures outdoors into potential trips to Oz.  That is Dr. Oz after one is hit in the head by the pine cone bombs raining down from the trees.

“And since we’ve no place to go…..”

The early snow that dropped has been soaked in many places by the atmospheric river that flowed over the past week. Lots of moisture has come to the parched region, just not exclusively in the form we would prefer.  One only has to look to the hills to see the them literally shining back. Dazzling to look at, not what we want to tour.

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

NOAA has posted a Winter Storm Warning for almost the entire Sierra range and a hazardous weather warning for the Wasatch. Heavy snow is predicated in the higher elevations. However, with the current base the Eastern SierraSierra , and Utah avalanche centers have considerable to high avalanche warnings to follow this storm.

Let it snow enough for us to break out the nordic or light gear and break a sweat.  Cold temperatures are coming. To plan your trip take a look at our California pages.

Greater Yellowstone and Tetons and Central Idaho

Baby It’s Cold Outside

“I really can’t stay.”

That is because if you stop to chat for any length of time while skiing you will be chilled to the bone. It. Is. COLD.  Single to negative digits in the next days. Idaho, Yellowstone and the Tetons have reaped an abundance of Mother Nature bounty.  Snow has fallen and the entire state of Idaho is under a NOAA Winter Storm Warning, as is West Yellowstone, Montana and Jackson, Wyoming.  The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has a considerable to high avalanche warnings in place.

Oregon and Methow Valley, Wa

Jingle Bells

“Dashing through the snow…”

The Pacific Northwest has a great base and storms dumping the white stuff.  The forecasted cold temperatures should keep the conditions optimal.  Be sure to check the observations at the Central Oregon and the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Centers before heading out.

(And yes, the Washington State Page is coming soon.)

Coastal Ranges and Southern California

White Christmas

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”

The Trinity Alps, Mt. Pinos and the Big Bear Lakes have been teased with white early, but for now we look to the ski with fingers crossed for skiable accumulation in time for the holidays.

“May your days be merry and bright. And may all your Christmases be white.”

Early Avalanche Deaths

Early Season Avalanche Deaths

This weekend was  deadly one for skiers in the West.  Avalanches in two states claimed the lives of two people.  One skier died while jumping into a closed area at the Mt. Rose ski resort near Reno, Nevada, and another in Montana near Cooke City while backcountry skiing. The snow is inviting and seeing our favorite lines covered in white tempts us all to explore. These tragedies remind us all to be vigilant, educated, prepared, and smart in snow.

The moisture river that has flowed from the Pacific has dropped very heavy, wet snow over a base. Avalanche warnings are up all over the West from a variety of avalanche centers.  Please check, have the right gear, and “Know Before you Go.”

Avalanche Advisories:


Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

Sierra Avalanche Center

Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center


Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Payette Avalanche Center

Sawtooth Avalanche Center


Central Oregon Avalanche Organization

Wallowa Avalanche Center


Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center


Utah Avalanche Center


Northwest Avalanche Center


Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center

On Your Mark: Tannenbaum 10K Classic this Weekend in Mammoth Lakes

On December 11, the Tannenbaum 10K Classic will be held at the Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, CA.  The event benefits the Eastern Sierra Nordic Association’s Junior Nordic Team.

A variety of races, from the 1K race for elementary-age kids, 3K for middle and high schoolers, to the 5K and 10K for adults, will be held.

Races begin at 10am and one may register in person until 9am on race day. Discounted registration is available online until December 9.

Let’s get our wax on.

The Tamarack Lodge is located at 163 Twin Lakes Road, Lake Mary Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.  For more information call 760.934.2442 ext. 8.

Peter Grubb Hut Reopens

Peter Grubb Hut Reopens for Winter

The Sierra Club’s Peter Grubb Hut has reopened after the first of a multi-year refurbishing effort for the winter of 2013-2014.  The 75 year old ski hut, located north of I-80, had been closed since March.  To make reservations call 800-867-6775.

To support the efforts to upgrade the Peter Grubb Hut click here.


December 13 – Sierra Avalanche Center’s Backcountry Ball Benefit

The Annual Sierra Avalanche Center’s Backcountry Ball to Feature Jeremy Jones – December 13

The Annual Backcountry Ball will take place December 13 at Sugar Bowl in its Judah Lodge.  The event will feature Jeremy Jones, legendary backcountry boarder.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.  To purchase tickets or for more information click here.

Tahoe Donner Offers New Junior Biathlon Program

Tahoe Donner Offers New Junior Biathlon Program

Tahoe Donner Cross Country center will launch a junior Biathlon Program to celebrate the upcoming Olympics.  The program will be led by former US Biathlon Team member.  To read more on this story click here.

Yosemite’s Ostrander Hut Lottery is Open

Yosemite’s Ostrander Hut Lottery Open Until November 20 at 5pm

Registration for Yosemite’s Ostrander Hut lottery for the upcoming winter is open.  You may register until 5pm on November 20. The lottery will take place on November 21, with the results being emailed or mailed on November 25.  Registration can be done online, by mail or phone.  On December 2 reservations can be made for any remaining reservations.

Opened in 1941, the hut is a 10 mile ski from Badger pass with iconic views.  It is not recommended for beginner skiers.  The Ostrander Hut can take individuals or groups up to 15 people.

Overnight Fees:

Mon thru Thurs  – $35 per person

Fri/Sat/Sun – $55 per person

Fees are nonrefundable unless there is a cancellation due to road or park closure.  For more information click here  Yosemite Conservancy  or call (209) 379-5161.

Winter Trails Day 2013 – Tomorrow, January 12, 2012

National Winter Trails Day 2013 will be held nationwide tomorrow, January 12.  Events to promote and introduce people of all ages will be held at trailheads and cross country resorts throughout the country.  Take advantage of this great event to learn how to snowshoe or nordic ski for free.

  • In the greater Lake Tahoe Area, Winter Trails Day events will be held at Tahoe Donner in Truckee, the Tahoe Meadows off Hwy 431 in the North Shore, Carson Pass off of Hwy 88 and at Kirkwood Resort.
  • In Calveras County on the Sierra West Side, Bear Valley Cross Country will hold a variety of snowshoe and ski events for the first timer on Winter Trails Day.

Click here for a link to Winter Trails Day events close to your home.


The Acquisition of Royal Gorge Complete – 3,000 Acres Preserved

$11.25 Million Raised to Preserve Royal Gorge

The Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) announced today that the purchase of the 3,000 acre Royal Gorge property is complete.  $11.25 million was raised to protect the property from development.  Royal Gorge X-Country will be operated by Sugar Bowl and 48K of trails are now open.

“It is not exaggerating to say this might be one of the most important conservation victories for the Sierra in a generation,” said Perry Norris , Executive Director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust.  “This is a project that eliminates an enormous development threat, provides world-class recreation, and has fantastic and truly unique natural resources.”

The land acquisition is the culmination of efforts by the TDLT, the Trust for Public Land and over 1,000 donors over a five-month long campaign.

“Saving Royal Gorge is a great example of our goal of protecting land for people,” said Will Rogers , President of The Trust for Public Land.  “Families have been coming to Royal Gorge for many years and now those families can be assured that this wonderful place will still be there for future generations to enjoy.”

Read the full release here.

Sugar Bowl May Operate Royal Gorge for the 2012-2013 Season

Royal Gorge 2012-2013 nordic season may be operated by Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.  Questions about the future of Royal Gorge, one of the largest nordic skiing resorts in the country, with 200 kilometers of trails, have lingered since the end of last season.  The Truckee Donner Land Trust is in the process of purchasing the of the property.  For more on the story click here.