April 24, 2018

January 2018 Recap: A slow start to "winter"

This was taken on January 14th, en route to the Silver Fork Meadows.
For reference - here's the conditions update from the same week, one year prior.

For the past couple years, I've stopped updating this blog at some point in the fall, and then resumed once someone called me out on it. This year it took until late April, and Professor Powder was the prompter. Time to recap the past couple months.

I don't know the exact snowpack numbers off the top of my head anymore, but December and January were exceptionally dry. Like, it was pathetic. Very little snow, and the snow we had was super dangerous (facets). This created a persistent slab issue that didn't really resolved until we got a couple high elevation rainstorms later in the spring (ugh, more on that later).

After a grand total of TWO ski days in December (Brighton laps), we started off January by continuing to run as our primary form of recreation, which ended up being a bad thing for me: my achilles tendon needed a break after a lot of long trail runs last fall, which I never gave it, and that led to some (stupid, self-imposed) damage that I'm still dealing with months later (running goals = out the window for 2018, I blame the lack of early snow that would have put me in ski boots more frequently). 

Grandeur Peak laps and Jeremy Ranch in early January...

I got in a January lift-skiing day at Deer Valley during a work conference - not much was open...

Our skis (well, half of them) just hung there waiting for some real snowfall...

Finally we got a few storms during the second and third weeks of January which allowed us to ski some powder. With a shallow snowpack, you had to ski soft and be cautious of rocks and roots, but at least it was skiing! We got in a total of 7 ski days in January, with a grand total of 0 dawn patrols. Even if it was nothing like the January before, skiing is always fun and we are super-spoiled compared to people living almost anywhere else on the planet...

It got super warm and dry again to start February, but then it started to turn around for real. 

February recap coming up next.

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