The weather the past couple of days in the mountains has been absolutely fantastic for skiing. Temperatures have been in the teens and twenties, winds have been light except for some breezy conditions on the ridges and in the upper-elevation terrain, and skies have been crystal clear.
The blessing of the low-angle sun this time of year is that the snow holds up for long periods in the backcountry. It hasn't snowed since the day after Christmas, yet you can find good snow on most aspects, except in a few open areas and near ridges where it has been affected by the wind and some of the southerly aspects where you might find some damp snow during the day and a sun crust in the morning.
On the other hand, the curse of the low low-angle sun this time of year is that there's not enough surface heating to mix out the pollution in the Salt Lake City Valley. As beautiful as it is in the mountains, in the valley, it's an environmental cesspool.
PM2.5 levels in the Salt Lake Valley are now around 25 ug/m3.
This weekend and monday we are clipped by a couple of systems that might stir things up a bit. It's tough to say if it will make a big difference, but let's hope it does as the models suggests a big ridge will be in place over Utah for the middle of next week.
Looking for Parts
I've broken the thin metal rod that supports my mid-generation Black Diamond Anarchist Avalung pack (below). Unfortunately, this rod is different from that in the current generation and unavailable. If you have a similar Anarchist (mine is the full size M/L version) with perhaps other problems, let me know and perhaps I can buy it for parts.