The forecast called for a big storm, so we made plans to go to kirkwood and stay there for a couple of days.
car was packed to the rim :)
Unfortunately, we got to Carson Spurr 1h after they closed it, which would end up being for over 3 days (although we didn't know that at the time). Some cars stayed and hoped that they would re-open, but that never happened. Unfortunately Caltrans sucks at broadcasting their plans: it would be really nice if they would just say "we're unlikely to re-open the Spurr for a few days", or "we're working on Carson Pass, we'll reopen ASAP" (vs "conditions are just too unsafe, go to bed and come back tomorrow morning when we'll try agian").
Anyway, we did a 3H+ drive around to Carson Pass just to find that it was closed too with no ETA for re-opening. In the end, it did open about 30 to 45mn after we were there, but since Caltrans can't be bothered to give any useful forward looking information, and it was pushing midnight and a 8.5H drive, we went back to South Lake and slept there, foregoing the first night in our condo.
the caltrans guy just made a snow roadblock
The next morning, we drove from South Lake and the conditions were pretty good although the snow was wet (temps were too high):
Hi Johannes and Kirsten
It snowed a bit that night:
digging the car out and getting back to a road, was 'fun'
Kirkwood opened 20mn and closed due to high winds, heavy snow and high avalanche danger. Snow sucked anyway.
We waited the day out in the lodge, it was just sleeting outside :(
Snow was bad and it was impossible to get out of parking spots, this poor guy had his bumper ripped by the snow while being towed.
Sunday ended up being a throwawy day, but thankfully we had made some plans to extend our stay to monday for the dryer colder storm: On Monday morning, there were almost 2ft of dry snow on top of the previous day's crud. That was a welcome change. Kirkood took forever to open its 4 lifts on the front side of the mountain though, they really are having issues doing timely snow patrol and getting their lifts to run reliably and timely.
lift line for solitude, the first lift to open at 10:00.
Here was my first run off Cornice, when they finally got the lift running at 14:00-ish (yes, that's late...)
Monday had really nice conditions though, when lifts finally opened, it was quite nice.
3 days later, Carson Spurr is still closed though...
Anyone going to Tahoe and checking road status from Caltrans knows how 1980's their system is (manually entered ALL CAPS 6 BIT ASCII UPDATES, including spelling mistakes on reporting points).
I've also found it frustrating at times that there is no history of road status updates.
So, I wrote a script that keeps tracks of all status updates and sends Emails when they happen, as well maps out the reporting points that Caltrans uses for it reports.
This is all on my Tahoe Road info page.
Ok, so we missed the really really nice thanksgiving weekend with more than 6ft of freshies and more that fell during that weekend. I suppose you can't be in the Grand Canyon and at kirkwood at the same time...
Anyway, we went the next saturday with Arturo, Johannes, Jim, and Bob. There was a bit of fresh snow, but the temps were a bit too high so by the time you hit the bottom, the powder was too wet and thick. Oh well...
Still, coverage was impressive for december, and it made for a good day of riding if you don't count my one fall in the drain where I slipped on ice and got side whiplash...
got a quick hot wax before heading out ($15 has gotten a bit steep though).