We had another brown snow/rain a few days ago. These seem to come with more regularity than they used to, perhaps because of land in Utah stripped to bare dirt by wildfires or something like that. When these dust layers get covered up by fresh white snow they don’t create many problems in spring in terms of avalanches and such, but when exposed they act as a disappointingly efficient solar collector and hasten melt-off (not to mention making the snow look ugly and forming a rough surface due to uneven melting). We were out yesterday morning on another dawn patrol and got the shot shown below. Plans this weekend include something big but weather may intrude. Looks like we’re getting a dusting of snow today, so that’ll hide the brown for a few days. Stay tuned.
|This is what the snow looked like yesterday about around 10,500 feet elevation in central Colorado. It’s whiter above timberline where a more recent snowfall is hiding the dust layer. We still enjoyed the skiing, but this stuff can eventually wreck havoc.|
|Our friend and backcountry skiing partner Jason yesterday morning. He wasn’t going to let a bit of brown dust interfere with the joy of skiing instead of being in highschool. Funny how these guys look at their watches at just the right time to say “hmmm, school is starting just about now.” Then they get a big grin, click in, and launch. Back in time for the math quiz though, the adults made sure of that.|
|We finishing our our ski tuner set up yesterday as well. Whipped out the base welder and used the big belt sander to get our rock-trashed skis ready for action. Only problem with this tool is we can’t figure out what to use it for when customizing our Jeep. I’m sure we’ll think of something.|
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.