The answer from here is "yes".

I got home to SF at 3 am Friday, courtesy of an O'Hare delay, and then
could not reasonably get anywhere near the Sierra crest.

After four days of "Blade Runner" like conditions, it only showered
off and on yesterday (for you youngsters, that's Ridley Scott's sci-fi
eye candy which features Harrison Ford tracking down renegade
replicants in a 2019 LA, where it rains constantly because of a sky
filled with dirty particulate matter in a warmer atmosphere than

This kind of weather pattern makes all but skiers grumpy around here,
because in the winter it very rarely rains significantly in the Bay
Area without Tahoe getting some snow.  Over the weekend I recalled how
we had measurable rainfall (greater than 0.10") for 17 consecutive
days in SF when I lived here the first time in the 90's (winter '93 or

So while another storm may make travel difficult again this weekend,
I'll accept it - check this out to see the frequency with which
northern California has extended mid-winter dry spells.  Based on San
Francisco's daily rainfall, over the past 53 rainfall seasons (July 1
to June 30) there has been a "dry" period in December or January
averaging 19 days!

On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 18:00:23 -0500, Jonathan S. Shefftz
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> To answer my own question: no!
> Now on with the trip report...
> After an enjoyable Christmas wkend at Someday Bigger w/ excellent and
> extensive groomed terrain (where I was one the few native English speakers,
> amidst the many Russians, Israelis, and Asians), I was looking forward to
> four days with my brother and his girlfriend, but I figured the skiing
> would not be *that* much of an improvement.
> I figured wrong.  Real wrong.
> Day 0, December 29
> Carried and wheeled my bags to the subway stop through the snow-covered
> Boston sidewalks - perhaps a good omen?  At the airport I refused the free
> ticket offer to delay my Reno flight to the next day, since with a big
> storm system moving into the Sierra, that might mean far more than a one-
> day delay...
> Day 1, December 30
> Awoke to a massive storm, with high winds and heavy accum.  Carson Pass to
> Kirkwood (where my brother and his girlfriend have passes) seemed doubtful,
> and indeed never opened that day.  Went for a nearby low-angle bc tour in
> the morning and early afternoon.  Arrived at the base of a steeper, more
> open section and dug a pit close to a proverbial island of safety (i.e.,
> massive tree): CT0 + RB1 on a 32-degree pitch.  The wind slab from the
> ongoing storm was not bonding at all to the storm from two days ago.  Even
> though the terrain possessed numerous anchors and any slabs would be
> relatively small and unlikely to propagate, skipping the couple hundred
> vert up above us seemed like a good idea to me and my brother.  Two other
> members of our party pronounced the snow good to go (apparently the "very
> poor" snow stability rating was not enough to deter them) and hence went up
> further while we awaited their (hopefully safe) arrival.  Fresh lines were
> enjoyed by all.
> Late that afternoon we did a nordic tour on a trail at the end of the road,
> although then again the roads would have made for some fine skiing too.
> Here we had no wind slab, with an RB4 and CT scores in the high teens for a
> more encouraging "fair" rating.
> Pics:
> Hah, you gotta be kidding me, way too stormy!
> Day 2, December 31
> My brother's housemate's hangers-on had thoroughly cleared off all the snow
> when they stumbled in drunk the night before, but we awoke to what looked
> like a season's accumulation.  Carson Pass was once again doubtful (and
> didn't open until 1:30 or so), so we went to The Heave for their delayed
> opening.  The entire Nevada side was closed b/c of power issues and the
> lift ticket prices were punishing, but the freshies were worth it.  Power
> days at ski areas that cater to groomer gaper are generally a delight (my
> wife and I had experienced this before at La Flegere and Bretton Woods) and
> this did not disappoint.  Even at closing bell we still had untracked lines
> in upper Avalanche Bowl, since the populace was unwilling to endure the 150
> vert hike.  (Actually, I got the impression that some of these people would
> hike 150 vert to *avoid* the deep & steep.)
> We did not stop for pics (though in retrospect I really should have at one
> easily accessible glade that was shockingly pretty, untracked, and empty),
> but here are some of people digging out that morning, and then the view
> from Heavenly at the end of the day:
> Of special note is the plow driver who appeared to be from central casting
> for the never-aired Dukes of Hazard "Snow" episode, complete with rusting
> truck, bald front tires, ajar hood, juvenile delinquents in the open bed,
> and jaw clearly evidencing a crystal meth addiction:
> _2004-12-31.html
> 20Driver%202004-12-31.AVI
> New Year's Eve looked like it was going to be uneventful, with an early
> bedtime for an early start for New Year's Day, but then we received a visit
> from (with apologies to Raising Arizona, i.e.,
> . . . the Lone Plow
> Driver of the Apocalypse:
> ("First introduced within the setting of a dream, the Biker erupts from a
> massive wall of sulfurous flames on a Harley-Davidson 'hog,' silhouetted
> against the backdrop of a torrential yellow-orange blaze of the fireball
> raging behind him....He will destroy everything in his path....Smoke
> billows from his mouth and nostrils....low echo of distant thunder,
> reminiscent of an atomic explosion, can be heard rumbling in the
> background. ")
> With the orange paint, yellow lights, white clouds of snow, deep rumble of
> its engine, piercing warning lights, chewing up and spitting out all
> massive snow banks in its path - now *that* was a plow!
> Day 3, January 1
> We awoke to . . . surprise (or maybe not?), more snow!  We lined up at the
> Carson Pass road closure, with about 30 cars in front of us, about 100 cars
> behind us as far as the eye could see, and then perhaps even more around
> the corner:
> I amused myself with snow stability analysis by the road cut, with
> generally "fair" results.
> Our patience eventually paid off: a late-morning opening led us to the
> promised land, and although the 1/16 time share owners got there first, we
> still had plenty of secret stashes awaiting us.  By about 3pm all the fresh
> lines had finally tracked out, but then the booms of the avy control work
> went silent, and more terrain opened up, finishing the day with more
> freshies.
> Of avy interest, my brother let loose (within the control area) a 60cm slab
> about the size of a very large Rutschblock.  Another skier's prior traverse
> had essentially cut the bottom of the block.  My brother's skis had
> performed a diagonal cut across the upper left, and then the upper right
> had failed at a weakness near a rock outcropping.  Inspection of the crown
> face on our final run was a nice educational opportunity, as well as a
> sobering reminder that pockets of instability can linger on even in heavily
> bombed areas.
> Day 4, January 2
> We awoke to . . . no further significant accumulation.  Two laps of almost
> 1800' each on untracked lines on Waterhouse was the logical destination;
> some nice background info here:
> A few semi-artistic pics here:
> Got a CT16, CT21, and RB4, for a "fair" stability rating, but terrain was
> the right degree of treed to allow for good turns yet prevent slide
> initiation under those conditions.  (The pics are deceptive because they're
> all from near the summit where the trees are more sparse, although the
> pitch is more moderate there too.)  Actually, I got the feeling we were the
> only ones to dig a pit there that day, maybe even that whole season.
> *****
> And then it was off to San Francisco, with my brother off to work Monday
> morning, me back to Boston, and Kirkwood reporting 106-128" for the week.
> We hit rain about halfway there, and sure enough the airport TV monitors
> features more scenes of more snow pounding the Sierra...
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