There is no question the entire Western half of the U.S. is having a rough Winter. Here in Washington State, splitboarding and ski touring at lower elevations has been a struggle and our ski areas are barely open if they aren’t already closed. The Summit at Snoqualmie and now Mt. Baker, two major ski areas in our region are both closed until there is more snow, IF there is more snow. Weather forecasts don’t look too promising unfortunately. Our mountains haven’t seen any serious snowfall at lower elevations (below 6-7000 feet) since the end of December. Not only that, but heavy rains have plagued whatever snowpack we had built up during the beginning of winter.
Below is a map showing the percentage of normal snow water equivalent in Western U.S. mountains. About the only region seeing anywhere near normal snowfall this winter is the Rocky Mountains. Not good! We are certainly getting a glimpse at what winter could look like for future generations. There is no question the Earth’s atmosphere is warming and we all need to be aware of the issue and take action to change the way we live.
One organization that we support and has kept us aware of climate change over the years is Protect Our Winters (POW). Started by Jeremy Jones in 2007, POW has brought professional athletes in our industry together to press the issue upon our government officials, our country and the entire world. As hard as it would be for us to lose the current state of winter sports as a whole, it wouldn’t pose as even the smallest threat to our livelihood. However, we can certainly use our observations as skiers and snowboarders to increase our awareness as human beings.
“If we get to the point where the ski resorts all close because there’s no longer any snow, the least of our worries will be that skiers and snowboarders don’t get to go play in the mountains.” – Jeremy Jones
We encourage you to get involved and learn more about what you can do by visiting protectourwinters.org
While our lower elevations are either bone dry or barely hanging on by a string, the volcanoes and higher slopes are seeing a fair amount of snow and the touring up high has been quite nice. Lately, we’ve been flocking to Mt. Rainier to get some good turns whenever the conditions are favorable between about 5,000-11,000 feet. We scored some great days with abundant sunshine and great snow! There is pow out there, you just have to work a little harder and go a little higher this winter to find it when conditions line up right. Below are several photos from the past month taken by Paul Stanley.
Regardless of the lack of snow this winter, we’re still making an effort to get out and go shred. We hope you’re doing the same and having fun with what you’ve been given!