Monday, March 19, 2012

Current conditions info

Seems like everybody in Elko County is involved with mining in some way, myself included. I mine for data rather than gold, though, particularly when I'm trying to figure out if it's worth heading up to catch a ski day.

Here are a few of my favorite internet haunts when I'm trying to get an idea of what's happening in the Rubies:

SNOTEL - The Lamoille #3 SnoTel site is handy for figuring out how much snow's fallen recently, as well as for seeing what the temperature is up to (or down to, as it were). It's located at about Thomas Canyon, at 7700' or so, so you have to extrapolate a bit to figure out temperature higher in the range. Keep in mind that snow totals here may be completely off from higher up, as the wind has a tendency to blow things to hell up there.

Lamoille #3 SnoTel

SNOW COURSE DATA - The Lamoille #5 Snow Course measurement site is located just above Road's End in Lamoille Canyon. They update it manually and only once a month, so read the info with that in mind. It's a lot closer to accurate the first week of the month than later on, obviously. It does give you an idea of how the season is stacking up compared to previous years, what the base depth is at the time they checked it, etc.

Lamoille #5 Snow Course

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - There are a couple of different places I go for info from these guys. The first link is pretty handy as it gives you an idea of what they think it's going to do over the course of the day. It's a point forecast which, right now, is set up on a ridgeline near Mt. Gilbert. You can move the point around as you like to see what it is forecast to look like pretty specifically around the range.

NWS Forecast Table

Here's another good one. This graph shows, among other things, wind speed and direction, forecast temperature, forecast wind chill for the point you select.

This link shows forecast conditions up at road's end at the head of Lamoille Canyon:

Road's end weather chart

This link shows you what they think is going on up on the ridgelines west of Lamoille Lake

Ridgeline weather chart

There is all kinds of good info on that site... click around and see what suits you best.

UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER - While our conditions aren't a direct correlation with what's happening over in Utah, they are the closest avalanche forecasting center and we do often have a similar snowpack. Checking here doesn't replace digging your own pits and doing your own research, but it is a good place to look for ideas. According to the guy who taught my last avy class, our snowpack tends to be most similar to that in the Uintas.

Utah Avalanche Center

RUBY MOUNTAIN HELISKI - CONDITIONS PAGE - Last, but a long ways from least, I check out RMH's "Conditions" page. There's a lot of info to be had there if you're familiar with some of the terrain they ski. Besides, the pictures are generally excellent.

Ruby Mountain Heliski - Current Conditions

Finally, I look out my window. By the time I'm done cruising around all of these sites it's generally light out and I can see if there's new snow, spindrift on the ridges, etc. If the wind's howling at my house there's an excellent chance that it's howling up there, too. Handy to live this close.

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