SJSC one of the only snowcat operations in the U.S. to open in December. However…

High Winds and Warm Temps Ruin Powder; SJSC Closes Till Snow Falls

By Carrie Rule

Our first trip of the year was December 24. We were gifted with great powder skiing.

As a young ski bum in Montana, dry spells during winter always led to adventure. I’d head north to Canada and follow the storms – getting face shots at Whitewater, Fernie and Red Mountain, hopping on helicopters at standby rates, or flying into BC backcountry huts for a week of power skinning and epic powder turns on glaciers. 

Other drought years took me to Colorado, Utah, California and even the Alps. 

Twenty years later, it’s not so easy for me to follow storms across North America. And fortunately, I don’t have to travel far to find powder, since skiing untracked lines (even weeks after the last storm) is just a snowcat ride away – until this week.

The Southern San Juans started the season with south tracking storms stacked one after another. By the middle of December, our area had one of the deepest snowpacks in the West. Since then, winds have blasted our snowcat terrain (even below tree line), warm temps have melted and consolidated the snowpack (as well as creating a killer crust), and no snow has fallen in almost three weeks. Despite this, the Southern San Juans still have one of the deeper snowpacks in Colorado.

Because of less-than-ideal ski conditions, we are not running any snowcat trips until it snows.

For those of you who had trips this week that were cancelled, we are deeply sorry. And for those of you who are hesitant about booking a trip later this season, we understand your concerns.

 Who knows what this winter will bring?

We know you are jonesin’ for powder just as much as we are. Snow will eventually fall in the San Juan Mountains. And if you can’t follow the storms around the U.S.and Canada; remember that once it begins to snow again, the SJSC has over 36,000 acres to play in.

We are booking trips, but will not charge a deposit on your credit card until we get enough snow to reopen. Please call 1.800.208.1780 to take advantage of this offer. We still have many seats available in February and March as well as April. (Might as well ski late into the season since the season is starting late).

Forecasters predict the current dry spell in the San Juans and Colorado to end Saturday. Let’s hope they are correct!


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