Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Phat Snowpack

While ski touring in Colorado this week, I kept thinking that their record snowpack was pretty paltry.  I know I'm a Utah powder snob, so I was wondering if perhaps I was being a bit harsh in judgement.

Then my son dragged me up to Alta this morning and the greatness of the Wasatch was reconfirmed.  To use a scientific term, we have a phat snowpack at altitudes that are entirely snow free in Colorado.  Our south facing aspects are also nearly fully covered and we still have a 160+ inch base at the Collins stake.

Alta still has an incredible snowpack
South face of Superior still well covered.
As is the south face of Flagstaff and environs
The deep snowpack is great for skiers and kayakers, but it does have some negative impacts.  The little critters of the Wasatch are emerging from hibernation and have to tunnel out 10-15 feet to escape their burrows.  How does one forage in an environment like this?

These little critters look lost this year.
This tunnel must be 10-15 feet deep.  Not an easy job
after a winter of hibernation.
How about all those seedlings sitting 10-15 feet under the snow?  It's going to be a short growing season this year in the alpine.

1 comment:

  1. I too was wondering what those types of animals do on a year like this. They might have some green shoots to nibble on by August. Maybe you should bag some lawn clippings to take along on your next excursion (only teasing, I think).