By Reggie Crist
Heavy snow continues to fall in the Lake Tahoe region. As predicted, there has been over 4 feet in the past 4 days and more snow is forecasted. First Ascent guide and local Tahoe patroller Lel Tone has been busy at work, throwing bombs and trying to keep the resort open. “It’s been a battle,” admits Tone, “but this is why we live here.”
A series of storms is lined up in the Pacific Ocean, and the jet stream is pointed directly towards the Sierra mountain range.
“These are the best powder conditions we have had in years,” according to local skier and First Ascent Guide Tom Wayes, “and it’s only getting better.” It’s fun to follow Wayes around the resort because he charges hard, and he knows all the secret stashes. There is no substitute for local knowledge, especially when the visibility is low and you are skiing around the rocks.
We are hoping for a break in the weather this weekend, at which point we will head into the backcountry with snowmobiles. Once again, we will rely on Wayes’ knowledge of the area to sled-access ski terrain. With the avalanche hazard rated considerable, we will be looking for manageable slopes with safe run-outs. “It’s going to be chest deep,” Wayes says, “so bring your neck gaiter.”
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