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Dumpage Continues Across The Sierra, Rockies

Dumpage Continues Across The Sierra, Rockies

"Bury the Butte." (Crested Butte/Facebook)

Starting in the Sierra and moving across the Wasatch to the Colorado Rockies, a dozen Pacific-laden storms unleashed their largesse in January to set up skiers and snowboarders for the rest of the season.

Forecasters expect a quiet week to end the month after three weeks of snow depths we haven’t seen in years – especially in the California mountains where repeated double-digit dumps and high winds in January forced some closures.

Poundin' the pow' at Sierra-at-Tahoe

At Mammoth, about 170 inches fell by Jan. 20, according to OpenSnow.com. SnoCountry.com asked for suggestions from Mammoth’s Ben Manning on how to handle such depths.

“Take a narrower stance creates more surface area (helps you float better),” Manning told us. “Flex and extend using both ankles to put equal weight on both feet. Be more neutral in fore/aft stance so that your skis don’t submarine in deep powder. And, turn less across the hill because the deep snow will slow you down anyway.”

Sugar Bowl snow

Farther north around Lake Tahoe, 100 inch-plus snowfall recalls days of yesteryear. At Sugar Bowl, snowpack is 185 percent of normal, while Sierra-at-Tahoe got nearly 100 inches so far in January.

Digging out at Brighton.

If you head to Utah, be sure to pack the fat-boys. Deer Valley and Brighton topped the list with 110 inches-plus in the month. Or dip down to Arizona Snowbowl, where storms sagged south to drop 46 inches in two weeks.

The winner in Colorado was Crested Butte, which had to close for a couple days to dig out of its 120-inch January “Snowmageddon.” 
And there is more to come for the rest of the season: “The models are off the charts with another 100 inches likely for the central Sierra (Mammoth) and perhaps 40-60 likely for the Tahoe Crest,” said PowderChaser Steve of OpenSnow.

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