I hiked in to Wild Basin on November 21st to get an idea of what the Snotel (snow telemetry) station was reporting compared to what I saw on the ground. I realize that Snotel, RAWS, etc data can be off a tad, however, the Wild Basin Snotel had been reporting six inches for the better part of a week. The snowpack is more like trace, perhaps the sensor is reading a wind blown scarp on the pad.
Above Calypso Falls, and Ouzel Falls the snowpack is visible but it is scarce. The thin snow coverage really starts at about timberline but fades to nothing quickly. Chief’s Head, Mt Alice, and Longs Peak are all almost completely bare. In fact, the hike up to Ouzel Falls temps were in the mid 50’s and at the trailhead in the upper 60’s. Completely bizarre.
Here are some shots of Ouzel Falls. Note that on a typical year this area will have had 4-6 feet of snow by now, and generally the falls are completely iced in.
By this time last year I had already ridden above the Loche & Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park. It looks like our next possible snow will be December 2nd, but it is looking thin. At this point I think we can all agree; we could care less where it snows in Colorado, just as long as we get something. Otherwise it will be an undesirable place to live next summer.
I know it is still early to tell for sure, so there is still hope we get the snowpack. Since Colorado supplies many states with their water supply, do not think this is a local predicament. Perhaps this is a good time to put in yet another plug for POW and all the awesome things they do.
If you are still oblivious about climate change it may be time to check yourself and stop listening to the special interest parroting. Climate change is very real, and our insatiable appetite for junk plays a huge role. Whether people realize it or not, we are entering a time when the material world is learning it can no longer serve us. Get involved.