Spring Fling Scouting Mission

Spring skiing is still in full swing in the Wasatch Range and the Uintas here in Northern Utah. My season still slows down to a certain degree as I add more construction projects into my daily life. Despite the increase in other work, I still find some time to get out into the mountains for skiing. Corn snow is the name of the game this time of year, so early mornings, and sunrises are a staple of the spring corn skiing diet. The high temperatures and strong sunlight cook the snowpack quickly so the aspect and elevation of a particular slope is a key element to harvesting good corn. 

Dusk Patrol Solo

This time of the year sunset in Northern Utah is around 8:30pm. This particular spring day the temperature was going to be a high of 52 degrees fahrenheit and raining in Ogden City where I live at 4,300 feet above sea level. The highest mountain peaks in the Ogden Wasatch Range are at about 9,700 feet above sea level. I knew the high country would see some snow, but the elevation where the rain would switch to snow was in question. A rule of thumb states that for every 1,000 feet higher in elevation it can be expected to see a 5 degree drop in temperature. The base area with which I wanted to start my tour was to be about 6,300 feet above sea level. Some simple math shows that if I started my tour at the highest temperature of the day, typically around 2pm, then there was a good chance that I would be starting my tour in the rain at 6,300 feet above sea level and roughly 42 degrees fahrenheit. With some luck I could be out of the rain and into snow by 7,000 feet above sea level. I was not particularly stoked about touring in the rain, but I held out hope throughout the morning.