Monday, February 9, 2015


Climate System 3 : 4 Sierra Nevada

After a truly grueling match between the dueling planetary forces of land against coupled climate system, the match ends. That was a close one! Things could have been a lot worse, but we won't go there because now there is new snow in high places and IT SKIED AWESOME! There is something special about proper Sierra Cement with some cold smoke on top...

Let's see how the match was decided:

Climate System 1:0 Sierra Nevada
While we did get snow, compared to normal (albeit modeled) we need a lot more! A few choice locations faired well, however. Time to burn some dinosaurs?

Climate System 2:0 Sierra Nevada

Of course the gradient of precip was the largest just before getting into the BEST terrain and what will support a sweet terminal lake! Yellow Card, Paoha Island, for aggressive tackle after the goal.

What snow we ended up with sure is soaked! The amount of water that can be absorbed into a unit volume of snow before producing runoff is impressive. Then you freeze it at saturation and start stacking new flakes on top. Not a bad recipe for hiding rocks and other hazards. The 10 inches that fell at 7k into early Saturday morning broke the stride of the Climate System and acted as a serious sponge and buffered what might have been irreversible damage done to the snowpack. It is always worth skiing in the rain every once in a while. Real west coast slidaz know what I'm sayin'!

Climate System 2:2 Sierra Nevada
We got snow. Yes. Not everywhere, but somewhere, and that is all that matters.

Climate System 2:3 Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada supports almost all the remaining perennial Great Basin terminal lakes, most of which are some of the coolest features on the planet for various reasons.

Lots of water into Pyramid Lake!!!!

Climate System 3:3 Sierra Nevada

Given it's location, movement, epoxy, fixed gear and view, the Totem Pole was one of my favorite climbs on Donner Summit. Yes, I clipped the bolts, and I know the Queen is angry. Hopefully those who climbed this route enjoyed it! This is the second catastrophic failure of Donner Summit aka Chossville; the other being on the Stealth Wall. They are similar types of granite I believe, but we'll have to consult R. Putnam of Sonora, CA for the full rundown (maybe a guest post in the future).  Geologic forces at work in fine style over many scales of time:

Climate System 3:4 Sierra Nevada

What better day to do a classic kayak run than a standard rain on snow day! Folks were loving the conditions.

Get it while you can!