If you determine the end of winter by the last time you skied, for me it was July 4. So really, winter only ended mere months ago, spring never happened, and Tahoe’s micro-summer is gone now, too. Mother Nature even prefaced the first day of fall with snow at lake level. So here it comes, Old Man Winter. As the effects from last winter’s #snowmageddon still linger, ready or not, winter is on our heels, once again.
The real question is, how will this winter compare to last? Find out with Tahoe Mountains Sports as they geek out about snow safety and weather patterns for their Winter Predictions and Backcountry Decision Making presentation on Oct. 25. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at Alibi Ale Works – Truckee Public House. In coalition with presenting sponsors ORTOVOX and Tahoe Mountain School, the workshop is set to provide a free educational opportunity for winter enthusiasts. Grab a beer, order some nachos, buy your raffle ticket, and arrive early for seats, as it is expected to be a full-house. The formal presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a raffle benefitting the Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC).
The first part of the presentation will focus on Tahoe’s weather trends. How will all the recent chaotic weather events around the world affect our snow year? Learn first-hand from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecaster and Reno meteorologist Zach Tolby exactly how the upcoming winter will roll out — or at least what his scientific predictions are. Tolby will talk about this past historic season, and how it will compare to this year’s. David Polivy of Tahoe Mountain Sports will demonstrate that understanding both the character of the Sierra snowpack and weather trends go hand-in-hand for safe backcountry skiing and riding.
“A lot of avalanche activity happens because of weather. Wind, snowfall accumulation, and snow moisture content,” Polivy explained.
Part two of the presentation will function as an introductory workshop or as a refresher for backcountry travel and decision making. Professionals from SAC and Tahoe Mountain School will be talking about common problems that occur in backcountry travel while offering solutions and tactics. The presentation will also include a hands-on component: Breakout sessions with the professionals — with mountain simulations and maps — to help plan your ski tours around the basin and discuss safe terrain travel.
Jonesing for more? Tahoe Mountain Sports will present two more workshops for the community: Beacons and Beers on Dec. 13, and Backcountry Tech Talk and Airbag Test on Jan. 10. The workshops are not intended to build on one another but rather serve as encouragement for attendees to pursue further avalanche education with SAC and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education.