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Aftermath Of The Sierra Atmospheric River - Part One

Powder Report / Seth Lightcap
23
Jan

Jesse Lightcap floats through a Tahoe dreamscape between storms. Photo - Seth Lightcap

Twenty feet of snow in just over twenty days?!

Hard to believe, but that’s the reality in California this January. Multiple record breaking storms crushed the Sierra crest in the past three weeks including one ten foot cycle and another seven foot cycle this past weekend.

Between all the shoveling, the Jones team pounded lift laps and slowly got to explore the backcountry as the new snow settled out. Here’s the first of many shots to share from what is sure to be a special season in the Sierra.

The storm dumped 4-6 feet at 6000ft in the Northern Sierra. The town of Truckee got absolutely buried. First day the storm broke, Taylor Carlton surveyed the depths in his backyard. Photo - Seth Lightcap

Within five days after the first major storm cycle the avalanche danger went from EXTREME on all aspects to LOW on all aspects. The Sierra backcountry was a right side up, sugar frosted fantasy land. Photo - Seth Lightcap

A low lying cloud layer hung over the Lake Tahoe basin in the days following the storm. Nick Russell cruises toward the cloudline. Photo - Seth Lightcap

The deep snowpack opened up new terrain and new obstacles. Nick Russell and Danny Davis finish a tour with a tandem creek crossing. Photo - Seth Lightcap

Low elevation Sierra terrain that hasn’t seen tracks in six years is now in play. Seth Lightcap cracks into a rarefied stack in Truckee. Photo -Taylor Carlton

Mammoth Mountain has already crushed their record for most monthly snowfall with 241 inches (over 6 meters!) as of January 23rd. Photo - Andrew Miller

The snow varied in density throughout the storm cycle, but most of the snow was primo. Jimmy Goodman comes up for air in Mammoth. Photo - Andrew Miller

Jimmy Goodman pulls into a Mammoth slopeside barrel. Photo - Andrew Miller

Shovel, slash, shovel, shovel, shovel, eat, sleep - on repeat for the better part of two weeks for Jimmy Goodman in Mammoth. Photo - Andrew Miller

Jimmy Goodman and the Storm Chaser in their natural habitat. Photo - Andrew Miller

With the snow quickly stabilized, Jules Hanna, Nick Russell and Allison Lightcap got out to assess the aftermath of the storms in the High Sierra backcountry. In this couloir there was evidence of big avalanches that ran in the storm but the chute had refilled with a foot of stable, unconsolidated pow. Photo - Seth Lightcap

Most High Sierra lines are already more filled in then they have been in many years. No doubt we are in for a special season in the Sierra. Photo - Seth Lightcap

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Author
Seth Lightcap
Category
Powder Report
Published on
23 January 2017

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