You guys, this winter was all-time in Lake Tahoe, literally. California’s drought ended, Northern California broke its precipitation record (with six months to go in the water year), and my home mountain of Northstar California (where I was an ambassador for the winter) broke its single season snowfall record. A record-breaking winter in Lake Tahoe for my first winter living and working in a ski town? Not too shabby.
Take away the month of January, and the winter in Lake Tahoe isn’t that special. That’s because January brought approximately 40% of the winter’s snow. A number of publications, such as Travel + Leisure and The Telegraph, actually declared California the snowiest place on earth in January. However, it was really April that made it a record-breaking winter in Lake Tahoe. While snowfall often tapers off by April, the past 3 weeks have seen Lake Tahoe resorts, such as Northstar, receive more than 50 inches of snow, officially making it a record-breaking winter in Lake Tahoe.
Before this winter, I had been fortunate enough to spend some time around Lake Tahoe during every season. They all have their merits. However, there is something mystical about a winter like the one Lake Tahoe just experienced. It’s getting to stand on the edge of a place like Donner Lake, which mere months before I had been camping and paddling at, but that’s now frozen over, surrounded by trees caked in snow. It’s making first tracks through the backcountry atop a summit overlooking the largest alpine lake in North America. And it’s the powder days, some of which this winter, like on Christmas Eve cruising down the appropriately named Powder Bowl at Northstar, was among my best snowboarding days.
It seemed fitting then, that as the ski season around Lake Tahoe comes to a close, to share some of my favorite photos from this record-breaking winter in Lake Tahoe, from the first storm that caked Northstar’s ski runs to snowshoeing abandoned train tunnels to powder days. Take a bow Mother Nature.