November Pow Update

| November 29, 2010

I’ve updated my Wasatch early season opinion from “Pretty good” to “Best in memory.” I may not have the best memory, but I’ve been out three out of the last four days and haven’t hit a rock except when I was trying to. It is still bony below 7,500′ (approx base of Snowbird), but up high, especially on north facing slopes, it is as good as almost anytime last year. The resorts are all open and seem to be charging away as well.

One of the things that makes this season so good is that the snow has come in in classic Wasatch style – lots of medium sized storms that set up nicely, then get a new layer of refresh on it a day later. The big 100″ storms are impressive, but tend to shut everything down, have high avalanche danger and the skiing is only good for a day or so before it sets up. What makes the Wasatch so good is a pattern of constant refresh, which is what we have had so far this year (fingers crossed in case I jinx it).

Lara Kendall on Thanksgiving Day

Ashley & Tom sagewhacking (a step above bushwhacking) on a high, windswept ridge.

Shireen skiing a long way from home (Boulder, CO).

From yesterday (Sunday). A new storm is brewing.

So far the avalanche conditions have been fairly safe.  I’ve seen a few crown lines, but haven’t experienced any big collapses, cracking or instabilities myself.  But with today’s new snow, wind and cold temps, I have a feeling all of this may change soon.  After a few hours of snow today there was some shallow cracking in the light new snow.

Help support and break out the A Stock 2010/11 K2 Wayback Skis from Click on the photo below…


Category: current conditions

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (6)

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  1. Jim says:

    More than 200 inches fell at Alta in November 1994, which probably represents the biggest early season snowfall on record. That predates my Wasatch experience, so I don’t know if the storms were as well distributed and the snowpack as stable as this year.

  2. Jimmy says:

    My memory isn’t great either but I gotta say I can’t remember so much so early! I love all this snow in these short days! Stays nice longer (until wind has its way with it).
    Sorry I missed Fred & Shireen. Would have been nice to see/ski with them.

  3. Peter Banta says:

    Way jealous over here in the East!

  4. Patricio says:

    “The resorts are all open and seem to be charging [$$$]away as well.” I don’t know if the pun was intended, but it was appreciated. Wild snow is always free.

  5. Scooter says:

    Good stuff…Love the tune…who sings that version of St James infirmary?

  6. Andrew says:

    Scooter – that version was by Snakefarm, whom to my knowledge only produced one album.

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