The good news is that there is plenty of backcountry skiing and riding to be done in the Sierra right now, especially around the mountains of Lake Tahoe.
The bad news, much of the precipitation that fell during the fall came in incredibly warm. After these atmospheric river events the state as a whole has done well with the much needed rain, but because temperatures were so high much of the snow that dropped on Lake Tahoe area peaks has been at the high elevations.
The best backcountry skiing and riding in the Lake Tahoe area is found above 8500′ feet right now. That elevation mark takes away much of the world-class terrain available to backcountry users, but at the high elevation access points such as Carson Pass in the south, and the Mt. Rose area in the north, coverage is great, and there’s plenty of powder to be found.
One way to constantly stay in tune with the ever changing conditions in the Lake Tahoe and Central Sierra backcountry is to check in with daily advisories made available by the Sierra Avalanche Center (http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org).
Monitoring how snow has stacked up, settled, and how it’s skiing in the backcountry is detailed in these daily reports. It’s the best available source for up-to-date information on conditions and it’s highly recommended that anyone planning to come up to Tahoe for the holidays checks out these reports before venturing out into the backcountry.
You should also join the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance if you haven’t already. This link will bring you to the website where a simple entry of an email address will get you going-http://tahoebackcountryalliance.org.
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