I don't really understand why a bunch of weird people in Pennsylvania pulling a rodent out of a cage attract so much attention. Call it fun if you will, but while some play with rodents, I'd rather do it with models.
It now being February 2nd, I'm coming to the sad realization that Steenburgh winter, the crème de la crème of backcountry skiing in the Wasatch, will not happen once again this year. Steenburgh winter is that magic period when we have 100 inches or more of natural snowpack and a low angle sun. It starts when we hit 100 inches on the Collins stake, and it ends on February 10th, declared by me to be the end of the low-angle sun period (some have argued this is too stringent, but we're talking crème de la crème here).
This year, I think it is safe to say that we've had no winter whatsoever. The Collins stake sits at 58", and that's pretty generous compared to what is on many other aspects and does not reflect the bony lower elevations. I consider 60" on the Collins stake to be the start of good early season skiing conditions. We crested that briefly this year, but with settlement have slipped back.
For entertainment this year, I've been doing a lot of skate skiing, and even that looks to be on life support now (TUNA has called a temporary hiatus of grooming at Mountain Dell and the Park City area options are once again fading fast).
On the plus side, we've had some skiing and that's better than none. Most days I've gone out the skiing has exceeded expectations. Vacationers seem to be happy at the resorts, consistent with my belief that a bad year at Alta is still better than a good year most anywhere else.
There is one clear exception to that statement. Japan. My social media feed from there is killing me.
I keep trying to convince myself that the powder skiing sometimes isn't as good as it looks in pictures, but it doesn't seem to help.