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2012-2013 ski and ride conditions discussion

Update 12/5/12

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is in a hybrid state. El Niño tried to get a toe-hold during summer but fizzled by fall.

It’s likely that ENSO will either be neutral or revert towards a very weak La Niña state during the heart of winter. This could bode very, very well for many ski areas in the West. Without a blocking high in the eastern Pacific like last winter, the storm trains can ride the rail from the Pacific straight to Tahoe, the Wasatch, the Tetons, and mountains in Colorado that got shafted last winter.

However, I think the Pacific Northwest including British Columbia, the Tetons and the northern Rockies should do well. This is just my take on current conditions based on all the weather resources that I follow. We’ve got the depths of winter still ahead; there will be copious powder somewhere.

One thing I’ve learned in my two decades of tracking weather and chasing storms is that nothing is ever guaranteed and there is no “normal” winter. Whatever happens, if the snow doesn’t come to you, then you must go to the snow. I’ve included some photos below of my friends and I going to the snow.

Where will the powder be this winter? – Photo by Josh Cooley

Jerry Ricciotti rides the deep at Breckenridge Ski Resort

Eric Rasmussen, owner of Mountain Nomads, enjoys some La Niña at Wolf Creek two winters ago – Photo by Josh Cooley

My friend Corbin skiing deep powder at Wolf Creek, Colo., two winters ago – Photo by Josh Cooley

One of your best bets for scoring fresh powder is to track weather and be ready to chase storms. Better yet, let Powderchaser Steve at powderchasers.com track the storms for you. He’s been chasing powder for far longer than me and is a storm-tracking guru. He’s led me to deep pow many times. Cheers to Steve for his passion for the art of the chase!

If you’re looking for a new all-mountain ski that devours powder check out my new shred sticks home-grown by H2O Outdoor Gear (H2OG). Traditional camber underfoot, early rise in the tip and tail with a sidecut that will lay down carves. These are the skis that Dean Cummings designed for you to access the goods. Pray for snow!

My new shred sticks, H2OG’s Karen’cito’, 181cm, 165-133-149

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7 thoughts on “2012-2013 ski and ride conditions discussion

  1. I hope we get snow in southern cali. We never have it at all. Dry as a bone last year. No more green Christmas! Hopefully the snow will spread evenly around all of us who want it. Can’t wait for winter it was 108° today ewwwwwww hate it!! MISS WINTER! :-)

    Posted by sinister | July 11, 2012, 2:50 am
    • One thing that I’ve learned as a skier for 28 years is that while snow is never guaranteed it’s always snowing somewhere, so if the snow doesn’t come to you then you have to go to the snow. I also can’t wait for winter!

      Posted by Primal Outdoors | July 11, 2012, 8:31 am
  2. Your weather sndous almost like what we had except I woke up yesterday morning to snow on the ground. I know exactly what you mean about winter feeling like it lasts forever. It’s definitely the longest season of the year for me

    Posted by Hina | July 12, 2012, 6:46 pm
  3. I don’t care if its rain or snow, NM needs something soon. Doubtfull though. “Reverting to week La Nina”-that scares me but my guess is that’s what’s going to happen for the rest of 2013! Or else this stubborn heat wave high pressure ridge has something else keeping it going through the winter months! Its one thing to not have any snow, its even worse to have continual sunny days all winter long, please at least can we get some winter clouds and breezes even it there isn’t any moisture in them?
    I predict this will be the driest winter season on record for NM and spring/summer/fall 2013 will be the worst NM fire season on record! Along with all this many towns will start major water rationing and NM agriculture pretty much will be destroyed in 2013!

    Posted by eric | December 1, 2012, 12:18 am
    • I don’t know what snowfall looks like in NM during a neutral/weak La Niña. ENSO and other weather patterns are cyclical, so while NM may have to ride out a warm, dry winter this year, eventually the pattern will shift, and the rain and snow will return. Usually, NM is a great place to ski during moderate/strong El Niño winters. ENSO will shift back to El Niño, it’s only a matter of time.

      Posted by Primal Outdoors | December 1, 2012, 9:37 am


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