People in Tahoe will be talking about last winter for the next decade, maybe longer. 2010-2011 will be remembered as that year with 60 feet of snow, when it snowed before Thanksgiving and we skied and biked on the 4th of July. The 2010-2011 season saw more snow than any season in the last 20 years. Snow overload also affected mountain biking conditions during summer. There was deep powder in the Sierra for months; Northstar and Mammoth opened behind schedule for summer mountain biking. The AMGEN Tour of California, a bike race that was scheduled for May, 2011, was basically snowed out. Cyclists planned to make a decent from Northstar Resort to the Sacramento Valley, but it snowed in the Sierra the day before the event began. It was pushed back and set to begin at a lower elevation level.
Things are shaping up differently for the 2011-2012 season. As weather forecasters continue to predict clear skies, more and more die hard athletes are staying off the slopes until it snows a couple feet. Man-made snow covers many of the open slopes at Kirkwood, Northstar and Alpine Meadows. Meanwhile, resorts like Squaw Valley and Homewood have yet to open major runs.
Meanwhile, many of us have been biking everyday! January 2nd a friend and I did Downieville (17 miles and 5000' vertical drop). Packer Saddle at 7100' was under snow and a "white knuckle" adventure to drive up to the top in vehicles! Sunrise (was under a foot of snow), Butcher Ranch Waterfall was a glacier (thank god for sticky rubber on my 510's after I flew off my bike), from the 30+MPH Third Divide to Upper First Divide, and Lower First Divide it was clear. The classic banked turns, reverse grades, G-outs and rolling dips were awesome with tacky dirt....in January I might add. Part of me wants to scream “SNOW DARN IT!” Then I think, “Ok then, don’t snow! See if I care! I like this weather! Let’s have it forever!”