Monday, February 5, 2018

The Epitome of the Ski Doldrums

Look out the window today and you'll see a scene that has become all too familiar the past few days, a layer of altostratus scraping across the higher Wasatch peaks.

Yes, this is the epitome of the ski doldrums and also provides perhaps a little dose of seasonal affective disorder given the lack of sunshine.

Next to full on rain, this is my least favorite type of ski weather as it can't really decide what to do.  Snow?  Yes, a spit here or there when the cloud layer deepens and a weak trough swings through.  Drizzle, rime, or freezing drizzle?  Yes, a bit of that from time to time when the cloud layer is shallow and there's sufficient turbulence.  Sun? Well, a few breaks here or there just to tease you.  Otherwise, plenty of flat light.

Compounding the situation this year is the warmth and the combination of above average temperatures and copious cloud cover has pretty much destroyed what little natural snow there was below about 7000 feet.

It's a rarity for me in February, but I gave up on skiing yesterday and after putting in some early morning hours at the office, did some gardening and went mountain biking instead.  Sad!


  1. How was mountain biking, shoreline seems like it might be muddy.

    I've been thinking about the Cedar Mountains, but snow cover is not bad in the Wasatch so I'm continuing to ski. Turns above about 8500 are fun, if you accept the reality that deep powder is not happening at the moment.

    1. Rode mostly pavement. Short stretch of single track above aves was dry in sunny areas and a mixture of wet clay and a little mud in others. Surprisingly good for February, but probably not best to tear up trails in shady places.

  2. hey , we skied Brighton this mourning,a nice layer of gropelmade it real fun.

  3. I seem remember a wise professor saying that altostratus was just a giant waste of moisture. Sad!

  4. Coming from a guy living in SE Alaska for the past three years, I have to laugh at the "doldrums" comment and seasonal affective disorder.