Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wind In the Lodgepoles

With the wind howling this afternoon, I didn't want to have the hood of my pickup up like a sail braving the gusts, so I grabbed my camera and headed up to Donner Summit to check on snowmaking conditions. I made a loop up Old Hwy 40, East from Soda Springs up I-80 to Boreal where I turned around and retraced my route back down to Truckee.

Donner Ski Ranch needs Mother Nature's help.

Looking across Old 40, Sugar Bowl shows some very scary glaze on Mt Disney. (All the bright patches are shiny ice crusted "pseudo boilerplate" that didn't show it's shine in the photo) This snowpack is mostly what remains of the October 6 storm, and hasn't been opened to skier traffic yet. This snow has frozen and thawed several times since and was rained on last weekend before refreezing Wednesday. New snow that falls atop this glaze is going to have lots of trouble adhering to it. It's will be a natural avalanche slab-fracture waiting to happen. There's plenty of snow blowing across the ridges here too...fresh manmade snow?

Soda Springs had a lot of windborne snow moving too, but the Sun's position was not cooperating with my photography mission.

Boreal had 50-60 cars in the parking lot, assuming that maybe 20- 25 were employees' or construction workers' cars, all but one patron must have been in the lodge/bar/ski shop. The Accelerator Quad that runs to the top was on Wind Hold, I saw the one slider riding on the Castle Peak Quad.

Again, the Sierra Nevada doing it's best Himalayan Impression. Those streams of snow famously blowing from the tops of the Himalayas are powered by The Jet Stream, our are just the damn wind!

I stopped to snap Donner Lake and the barren Carson Range featuring the nearly snowfree Mt Rose.

I snapped the original Lincoln Highway below the original US 40.

The sheep were all over Donner Lake's West End Beach...and all three miles to the eastern shore.

I must confess here that all these photos were made from the comfort of the driver's seat of the car. On a few shots, dust and sand were blowing into my face and the camera upon the wind which was a steady 35mph!

High Wind Warnings across the Tahoe Basin were more than some sand in the face for these surfers on Tahoe's West Shore. I swiped the photo from KTVU 2's weatherman Bill Martin's Facebook Page.

As I write at 8PM the power is still trying to go off as it has been for more than 24 hours. The ADF says the winds will subside to a dull roar Friday afternoon, before petering out Saturday.

No comments:

Post a Comment