Yesterday I headed up into the local backcountry above the house for the first time this season, so here’s a snow conditions update for the lower elevations in the area.  There were only 17 inches of snow at our back yard stake (495’) as of yesterday, but fortunately it’s not all just fluff, there are about 6 inches of powder and below that there’s a decent base.  The terrain I visited faces generally south, so despite heading up a bit in elevation, there was actually equivalent or slightly less snowpack than what there was at the house.  I skinned up a new route using a recently established logging road, and I was initially quite skeptical as to whether the skiing was going to be good based on what I was on, but it turned out that road had seen some fairly recent traffic that had beaten up the snowpack.  In areas that hadn’t seen any vehicular traffic, the snowpack appeared to be more in the range of what we have at the house.  In some spots I could see that the base had dried out and sugared up into loose snow, and there was no way that snowpack was going to support skiing in steep and rocky areas.  I skinned up to an elevation of ~1,000’ before I had to start heading down due to time.  Descending from there, I opted to stick to some of the steeper logging roads, and with their more regular base relative to some of the terrain, the powder skiing was actually quite good.  I was amazed at how deep the powder was throughout most of the descent.  I only hit low and moderate angle terrain on the roads, but the turns were great aside from a few big rocks here and there that I had to work my way around.  We’ll still need a big storm or two to get the steepest terrain in top form however.  A few pictures from yesterday are below:






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