The weather this week brings a series of stormy pulses following the recent mild spell. Each pulse brings some snow to the slopes, which is good news. There could be snow at the lower elevations, too, making for possible travel headaches. Temperatures are balmy compared to last week, but that’s not saying a lot, since the Arctic blast last week was one for the record books.
The first pulse of snow comes through today, bringing up to 6 inches of snow in the mountains of the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre Mountains. The next pulse, coming through late Saturday and through Monday, brings another 11 inches. Bottom line is that for the next week there will be snow and sunshine with, most likely, some wind.
At the Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area, expect snow today and then the next blast arrives late Saturday and hangs around through Monday. The first pulse should drop about 4 inches of snow, while the second one is more significant, with close to a foot of new fluff. While the ski area is not quite at 100% of its terrain open, that could occur any day now with the new snow.
There’s been light snow in northwest Wyoming, but more should arrive with the series of storms starting today. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort could get 19 inches with this first round, and another 13 inches through the weekend. Over Teton Pass at Grand Targhee, a significant 25 inches could fall with the first storm and another 17 inches by the end of the weekend. The snowpack in northwest Wyoming is running 118% of average for the season.
The storm today and tomorrow brings a significant 17 inches of snow to the slopes at Steamboat and then another two feet starting Saturday and through the weekend. Snow depths will be less at Winter Park, with 4 inches today and tomorrow, with another 7 inches into the weekend. That area snowpack is at 100% of average for the season.
Personnel at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center report the avalanche danger for the southern Wyoming and northern Colorado mountains is rated “moderate” at all elevations. Many slopes have weak snow near the ground. In places where a cohesive slab of dense snow sits on top, an avalanche could be triggered. Northerly and easterly facing slopes are the most suspect. Stick to slopes less than about 30 degrees and not connected to larger, steeper slopes.
At Keystone, near Rob Roy Reservoir, there has been a total of 75 inches of snow so far this season, according to Don Day Jr. at DayWeather.com. This is an increase of 11 inches from last week, and behind the 86 inches reported at this time last year. According to Open Snow, the snowpack in the Snowy Range is 90% of average for this time of year. This is a one percentage point decrease over last week.
Backcountry skiers report very good conditions from the Green Rock Trailhead and on up the Upper Libby Creek Trail. Expect more fresh powder today and again through the weekend on these user-packed trails.
The lower trails at Corner Mountain, Little Laramie and going down the Barber Lake Trail continue to be marginal for skiing, but good for snowshoeing.
For snowmobilers, conditions should be good “up top” in the Snowy Range. Expect snow today, then a day or two of clear skies and breezy conditions. The next bout of snow arrives Saturday and Sunday. More than a foot could fall through the weekend. For a change, breezes turn light on Sunday.
Snow conditions are good on the trails at Chimney Park, off of Highway 230. The trails are user-packed, with enough use to provide a decent tracked path on the trails south of the pond next to the Boy Scout camp.
Conditions are fair to good on the Nordic ski trails at the Happy Jack Recreation Area. The groomers with the Medicine Bow Nordic Association are doing a great job with the minimal snow, but Mother Nature is needed to get enough snow to set classic tracks and smooth out the skate lane. The multi-use trails are packed and provide excellent conditions for those on fat bikes or snowshoes. Those grooming the trails remind fat bike riders to use extremely low tire pressure to avoid creating ruts on the soft trails.
The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service snow measuring stations report 23 inches of snow at Cinnabar Park, an increase of 3 inches from last week. There is 30 inches at Brooklyn Lake, an increase of 5 inches from last week. The report at Sand Lake on the north end of the Medicine Bow Mountains is 37 inches, the same as last week. The measuring station at Medicine Bow Peak, at an elevation of 10,500 feet, reports 41 inches, an increase of 2 inches from last week. The Crow Creek station on Pole Mountain shows 11 inches of snow, an increase of an inch from last week.
Pole Mountain/Happy Jack Recreation Area Nordic ski trails: Conditions are fair to good with a thin base. Trails are rolled daily, with actual grooming starting once there’s enough snow.
Pole Mountain/Happy Jack Recreation Area Multi-use trails: Good conditions, with packing of the snow following each significant snowfall.
Chimney Park Nordic ski trails: Good conditions in the protected areas, with a mix of wind-packed, skier-packed and unpacked routes.
Snowy Range backcountry conditions: Trails out of Green Rock going up the mountain are in very good condition, with an improving base. Trails are user-packed.
Snowy Range: Conditions are good, and improving with each storm. Avalanche danger is moderate.
Wyoming downhill areas
Snowy Range Ski Area: 36-inch base; 5 lifts, 30 trails and 91% of terrain open.
Antelope Butte: 14-inch base; no additional information available.
Grand Targhee: 58-inch base; 6 lifts, 94 trails and 84% of terrain open.
Hogadon: 12-inch base; 2 lifts, 18 trails and 64% of terrain open.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: 64-inch base; 13 lifts, 121 trails and 92% of terrain open.
Meadowlark Ski Lodge: 30-inch base; 2 lifts, 14 trails and 100% of terrain open.
Sleeping Giant: 43-inch base; 2 lifts, 49 trails and 100% of terrain open.
Snow King: 38-inch base; 6 lifts, 37 trails and 97% of terrain open.
White Pine: 16-inch base; no additional information available.
Colorado downhill areas
Arapahoe Basin: 43-inch base; 6 lifts, 58 trails and 39% of terrain open.
Breckenridge: 31-inch base; 18 lifts, 114 trails and 61% of terrain open.
Copper Mountain: 33-inch base; 19 lifts, 129 trails and 83% of terrain open.
Eldora: 24-inch base; 10 lifts, 40 trails and 62% of terrain open.
Keystone: 31-inch base; 20 lifts, 67 trails and 52% of terrain open.
Loveland: 32-inch base; 7 lifts, 40 trails and 43% of terrain open.
Steamboat: 56-inch base; 20 lifts, 160 trails and 94% of terrain open.
Vail: 44-inch base; 25 lifts, 154 trails and 56% of terrain open.
Winter Park: 38-inch base; 21 lifts, 124 trails and 74% of terrain open.