Adam Jensen: Skiin’ is believin’
So, the “Storm of the Century” didn’t exactly pan out as many predicted and many more may have hoped.
Last week’s storm had some of the craziest wind I’ve experienced since moving up here, but the weather didn’t produce all of the deep snow that was forecast.
Lake Tahoe locals can sometimes be a grumpy lot, and there was plenty of venting about the lack of snowfall at lake level following days of hype surrounding the storm. Meteorologist jokes were made. Angry fists were shaken at the sky. Most everyone was a critic, as it were.
In between the venting, though, there were also plenty of favorable reports and social media posts from intrepid skiers and riders. Several of the online reports featured foggy goggles, soft snow and telling smiles. The storm produced significant snow at higher elevations and along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, leading more than a few powder hounds to sniff out the goods that were ready for the taking, if you looked with the right set of eyes.
Trying to avoid the Saturday crowds, I walked up to High Meadows, at the lake’s South Shore, with a buddy and a pair of bi-deck snowskates. While we were hoping for more snow than we found, we didn’t get skunked, slashing some miniature pow turns through 3-4 inches of soft snow. The turns weren’t epic by any stretch, but, I’m not going to lie, it was a blast and well worth the 10-mile walk.
On Sunday, I ventured out to Kirkwood Mountain Resort to ski and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage in the Carson Pass area. Much of Kirkwood’s terrain has yet to open, but rock skis definitely weren’t necessary. I even had my first double eject of the season, doing the dreaded half-flip-to-helmet. I came out of it unscathed, and only two people saw my flailing grace, so I’m counting that one as a win. I also always take comfort in a saying learned from a childhood friend’s dad: “If you ain’t fallin’, you ain’t skiin’.”
I suspect it will be far less than 100 years before the next “Storm of the Century” rolls around. Maybe it matches expectations, maybe it doesn’t. There’s only one way to really know — get out there and check it out for yourself.
Snow hype cuts both ways. It’s rarely as good, or as bad, as people would lead you to believe.
Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.