Hello Skiers and Snowboarders,
I hope you had a good season, and the Powder Alert helped you pick great days.
I was lucky to cherry pick many good ski days – hey, that’s what forecasters do. For me, it was either sunny groomers or powder runs all season. What I liked most about this past season was the consistently cool weather providing good snow quality for skiing on and off-piste. There were very few warm or dry spells.
The La Nina forecast was about right with cool weather and near to above snowfall for NW ski areas, even with California receiving the bulk of the winter snowfall.
I skied 32 days and seven different ski areas. I enjoyed many wonderful days at The Summit, Crystal, Whistler, and Bachelor. Plus, I added two new ski areas to my 60-plus “lifetime ski resort collection”. Added for me this season; the ski area classics of Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole (road trip via Sun Valley). Strange how people like to collect stuff – ski areas are the only items I collect. I like the views, the fun, the discovery. I try to get a new one for every year I ski. Some years no new ones, some years several.
Those two great mountains (JH & GT), have awesome snow and terrain. JH provided the lightest snow I’d ever skied. I got 8-10” new on the upper slopes, one day. Conditions were creamy and light. I never felt bottom – fantastic powder float. In the parking lot, the snow was so light, I could remove the fresh from my car windshield with a puff of air. One day it was -11 F in the morning sun – ouch. Actually, it was warmer by 15-20 degrees on the upper slopes, as you get above the strong valley-based inversion – well known in JH. The inversion is where the coldest air drains and settles down in the lowest part of the valley. JH powder lightness is foraged in their legendary cold weather. I’ve skied in the Rockies many times, but JH was the lightest.
Of course, nearby Grand Targhee is fantastic too. Wonderful fall lines and tons of open glade skiing, plus a friendly local vibe. It was spectacular with absolutely perfect groomers in bright winter sunshine when I was there – but Grand Targhee is well known as the quintessential powder paradise with epic snowfalls of quality and quantity.
The road trip was exciting and fun, but considering our abundant snowfall and challenging Cascade terrain, Washington State ski can compete with those giants. Yet, it’s always a blast going to a new area. With JH and GT now crossed off my “to do list”, I’ve now skied most major ski resorts in the Western US and Western Canada. From small to large - from Loup Loup, WA to Whitewater, BC - Tahoe to Telluride to Taos and much of Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, BC, Alberta and so many more. It's a never-ending quest for winter fun. Ski new ones, revisit old ones.
Powder Poobah will be back next season with more improvements. I’ll have an update late in summer (August or early September). A strong El Nino is looming. El Nino may signal less confidence in our snowfall forecast for 2023-24 season. Don’t worry, snow will fall, but it can sometimes be a bumpy ride with El Nino for the NW. Details to come.
I want to thank Andrea (marketing) and Michael (snow forecasting) for their help this past season. Their gracious assistance allowed me to ski much more.
Your Grand Poobah of Powder
Larry Schick – Meteorologist in Command
P.S. Photo Contest below!
P.P.S. No more snow forecasting. Watch for the winner announcement and summer updates.
FYI: the GPOP, Larry Schick will be speaking at the Pacific NW Weather Workshop. He’s speaking about This Winter vs. the Great Floods of 1861-62, plus many other interesting NW weather topics.
Dates: Friday/Saturday, May 12-13 at the NOAA Building.
GIVE A BIG THANKS TO THE POWDER ALERT SPONSORS!!
Go shop with them now. Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14th.
Andrea's Mother's Day Gift Ideas:
- Aslan- Dinner out. Dinner to go or reservations.
- Alpine Physical Therapy: Fix your pains. Get better, be better or fix hers.
- Crystal Mountain Hotels: A Gift Card can be good. She can use it for a Girls' snow trip or for family.
- Rack N Road: Cargo box, bike rack, or rooftop tent please, and thank you. With flowers & dinner.
- Sturtevant's: fun spring and summer apparel. Or new boots! Gift card.
- 49 Degrees North: Girls' snow trip or a family trip. Chewelah is cute.
- Silver Mountain: Girls' trip for snow, golf, snow or sunshine. Or a family vacation. Again...any season.
- Outdoor Research: Shop now or get a gift card. Accompanied with dinner plans, and flowers.
- Pass Life Workspace: Did you know they have a super cool party space? Maybe she needs a mountain office getaway, to get away.
- Woolly: Shop online now. and get flowers (in a vase).
- XEVO: Cool shades. Cool goggles. Because she's cool.
- ZEEKS pizza: They make it. They make the food to dine in or take away.
Show the moms and the special women in your life that you care.
Can't get a Gift Card? Call the sponsor and have them help you out.
Details and rules are in the link. Two photos per person. Winning photos will be chosen by the GPOP and Powder Alert team. The winning photos will be chosen based on fun factors, stoke level, or scenic composition. The winners will be announced via email in a Powder Alert by May 24, 2023. Each winner will be notified via email.