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Does City Life Provide A Lower Quality 

Studies Show That Powder Days Improve The Quality of A Human's Life

Heavenly Mountain

When A Foot Of Snow Drops, Patience Is The Key

About That Snow Life

One of the reasons we started WHITEPOWDERRUNS is because we really are about that snow life.  Or should I say we really want to be about that snow life.  That entails chasing it and making moves to get to it before storms land.  Thanks to the people over at opensnow.com with their very up to date and accurate weather information, and Southwest Airlines, we were able to secure a spot to Nevada and fortunate even more thanks to one of our Utah connects, to stay at the Stardust right across the street from the Heavenly Gondola on the Nevada side.  You know you are in for a good time on the mountain when you arrive to Reno NV and the driver is plotting when they are going to make the transition to the chains on the tires. Although this slows down your ride to the mountain, its a good indication that there is some good snow activity happening on the mountain.

An Alert Like This Is Bad News, Unless You Can Stay An Extra Day

In this article, we take you along in our journey of chasing the powder.  From getting the intel from locals, to trekking it through a storm to arrive, we give you the information on what to expect and how to prepare when you are chasing the powder.

WHITE POWDER

Nine times out of ten, chasing a storm in the Sierra Nevada ends up being worth it, although one never knows of the density of the snow until it lands. This impromptu trip to Heavenly ended up being worth it as we got some real dumpage. I mean the kind of dumpage that turns a ride from San Diego to Heavenly an 8 hour ride because of the weather and traffic. Perfect if you got there before the storm arrived, which we did. YAY! The only downside was that the storm shut down the mountain for two days because of heavy winds and lightning. 

The ultimate reward is when you happen to be there when ski patrol opens up another side of the mountain after a dump.  Although it feels like the strart of an Iron Man, it adds to the level of excitement and anticipation that you are about to hit some untouched powder.

Waiting for the ropes to drop

  1. GATHER INTEL - In the form of spying on and eavesdropping on other people's conversations.  Hang around or even ask any ambassador or person on the mountain with a uniform.  They might work in the cafeteria or give lessons, but they can tell you where to find the stashes.
  2. NATURAL SIGNS - Based on what is open, look at runs, look for wind and snow drifts.  Pay attention to the big picture.  Which direction is the storm heading, where is it coming from.  And from this intel, make logical guesses on where the powder can be.
  3. EXPLORE -The great thing about a day like this at Heavenly was that because we were out early, we were able to explore a lot of untouched deep snow.  The only thing, it sometimes can be too much snow because the pitch is not as steep and the snow has weight to it.

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