Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 13, 2014

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Mount Tom near Bishop, CA at 8:30am on December 13, 2014


Hi bc skiers and snowboarders,

This is a quick post-storm morning update. Classically, this storm was overhyped by forecast models and discussions, at least for this part of California. That said, we ended up with 1-2 feet of dense snow at the upper elevations, which is a decent start. We now have a backcountry, though not the coverage that we would expect to enjoy after what was hailed as the biggest storm in years. Snowline was high, around 7500-8000′ for much of the storm, then dropped to 6000′ toward the end. This means that the best coverage is probably above 9500′ and below that it is going to be extremely low tide, pretty much unrideable. You’ll have to pick any backcountry objectives carefully based on ground cover and more predictably consistent snow depths.

Unfortunately the forecasts are now backing off on the QPF (amount of forecasted precipitation) for the next system which may shear apart, split, and lose energy. It may only produce another 3-6 inches. So what was until yesterday expected to result in 6+ feet of snow in 5 days may actually end up being less than half that amount. There are more potential minor storms on the horizon so the pattern is still more favorable than last season. The forecasts have been flip-flopping all over the place, even in the short term, so we’ll just have to keep our eyes open and report on what we find as the season progresses.

Enjoy the snow we have and be patient if you want to keep those boards in tip-top shape for when we have the Sierra snow coverage we most certainly deserve. You’ve been nice right, not naughty? Happy Holidays ~Howie

Leave a Comment