La Nina deserts the Northwest in January
February 9, 2011
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January 2011 was the strongest La Nina reading in decades. Unfortunately, the old girl seems to have decided to park her butt in warmer climes, dumping massive amounts of rain on Australia in the process. Those goddamn Latina chicks, always in search of sunshine 😉
This left a very mixed bag of ski conditions around the Pacific Northwest. We got a decent day in at Mission before the 2nd Pineapple Express of winter deluged the Cascades with enough rain to dampen even a Sean Hannity rant. The following weekend brought 6 inches of heavy-ish pow to Silver Mountain on the Saturday, and the soft untracked remnants and cold conditions made Sunday much better than an average sloppy seconds day.
The month ended with sunshine, cold and fortunately a few inches of new snow at Crystal. In 3 days, the conditions went from slick, ‘only fools leave groomers’ hardpack to a soft, creamy 3 inch layer of fresh. Good enough to spend most of the weekend exploring the wondrous, steep terrain off the Northway chair. It’s even wilder out there than I thought, like a shopping expedition with Lyndsay Lohan, except easier to get away with the booty. The best inbounds terrain I know of on the West Coast, north of Squaw and south of Whistler, that is. Epic stuff.
Mission Ridge – 10,200m
Silver Mt – 7700m, 7300m
Crystal Mt – 8300m, 9200m, 7800m
Season totals: 28 days, 10 powder days, 225,700m vertical