A running report from the OSC Winter VPs (and Summer VPs, in season.)
Road conditions – good advice – bad jokes – whatever we want you to know about.
Close-out to an Amazing WinterApril 21, 2019
OSC’ers – What a winter! I hope we get an equally fierce one in the year ahead. The road is open and the last hurrah for Sugar Bowl is happening right now (4/21/19). Backcountry tours, likely, through July! Turning the mantle over to the Summer VP. Back on-line in the Fall…
It’s Friday! Let’s go skiing.April 5, 2019
Word from the lodge: the road is open but requires care. The thaw is causing ruts to form in both snow and the underlying mud and will also cause the canyon walls to collapse into the road. Tim is able to keep the snow back; the bigger ruts in the road surface will have to wait for the county. But what a great time to be up there – deep snow but warmer and longer days.
Karen is cooking this weekend and next, then it is on to summer hours.
Road StatusMarch 29, 2019
Missed a note from Jamie and providing this update late (apologies). This from Sandra (last night):About the road …It is rutted to about 8 inches. Four inches dropping tonite so up those numbers. Other than that it’s clear. Yes it’s one lane and the idea of backing up for upbound traffic should be considered as well as clearance. The crowds have left. I don’t know if DSR is still open and plowing is still on the menu….We skied today (crazy good conditions). We saw Tim when we parked and he said that the road was clear and that he plowed, so should be good to go for those w/ 4WD. Given the slightly slushy conditions end of day today at SB, I bet it’s gotten slushy and rutty… but likely still passable.Have fun up there… still plenty of snow hiding in the trees and people were tearing it up down the Sisters this am – insane! (too old for that).
Thursday, March 28 UpdateMarch 28, 2019
Per Tim, at 9:30 this morning, the road and parking are clear. The snow today through the weekend is forecast as minimal, so I think we are good to go for a great, sunny weekend of skiing. Enjoy it everyone!
By the way, for those who think we just had the winter to end all winters, I note that we are still 150 inches from the total snow fall recorded in 2010/2011. I will give you two to one odds that we don’t get 12 feet of snow between now and the end of the season.
Mid-Week UpdateMarch 13, 2019
Hey all – the road is mostly clear but drifts are building up in places. As more cars travel it, the drifts may be knocked down but if you have low clearance, you probably want to use the Union Pacific lot or the Gondola lot and walk in.
This is probably also a good time to note that conditions are going to change rapidly pretty soon now. At the moment, we are driving on a bed of ice and snow that is probably a couple of feet thick. In a couple of weeks, that is going to soften and thaw. Add some water running under the snow along the ground, and the road is going to become impassable with no way to plow it clear.
With this much snow, we can expect a lot of run-off damage to the road itself. Long story short, access is going to remain difficult for some time.
Weekend Update, March 8March 8, 2019
The road and parking are clear. There is a little snow coming down still, so chains required, of course. Lots of snow moving to do!
Big Weekend at OSC saving the lodgeMarch 4, 2019
Tim finally arranged to get a snowblower down the road and to most importantly, eliminate the snow built up against the front of the Club so that the snow that was built up on the roof could slide off. There was over 12′ of snow atop the bathroom end of the building and the doors to the bathroom and downstairs weren’t closing – pretty scary! With the snow cleared (by Tim Kegerman, Earl Stirling, Bill and Tina Cochran), the entrance roof shoveled off (Woolsey, Ryder and Rhys) and the deck cleared off (by our President, Bernhard), the Club is in pretty good shape. This said, with another week of snow in the forecast, the road will be snowed in again by the end of the week. Tim’s machine is in the shop, so lodge access remains on foot (snowshoes and skins). We’ll update the blog by Thursday with a more recent update.
Snow is about to obscure the view out the Dining Room window!February 28, 2019
Lodge Access for March 1st weekendFebruary 27, 2019
The current storm is forecast to dump up to 7′ of snow on the ground by Thursday. Everyone’s snow removal machines are sidelined (especially Tim’s Kubota). SB is barely able to keep up with some of their machines off-line. We have Tim shoveling snow off of the lodge roof b/c there is no more room for the snow to slide off. The lodge road is completely snowed in. We have no estimate for when our road will be open. And, looking at the forecast, the snow is going to continue to fall through next weekend too. If you plan on coming up, it’s skins and snowshoe access only! And, parking is far from certain. Be sure to check the I-80 road conditions before you hop on the road.
Updated Lodge Access Status for 2/21February 21, 2019
We got 12’ last week so the road is not passable, people coming up this weekend should be prepared to go the Gondola trail. It is plowed and easy to follow.Tim working on having Sugar Bowl come plow but with this much snow and equipment breaking down they are having a hard time keeping up .
Ladies and Gentlemen, Just to be clear… that is a foot demarcation, not inch. OMG – snow-(IN)sanity!
Lodge access update for 2/21/19February 21, 2019
Here’s an update on the road situation from a member this morning (2/21):
“The only way in and out of OSC is via snowshoe or skins, either from the gondola trail or from the overflow parking lot. Apparently overflow parking lot is plowed and available for parking but I have not personally confirmed.”
That’s the best we have at the moment. I’m still waiting for an update from Tim/Karen. Woolsey
Friday Morning UpdateFebruary 15, 2019
As expected, Highway 80 is closed. Highway 40 (Donner Pass Road) was closed until about 8:00 am. Sugar Bowl is closed for avalanche control. So it will be a while before there is any skiing happening.
Tim reports that there is three feet and more of heavy snow on the road. Walking down from the gondola, the snow is waist deep. And that’s just the beginning. The forecast calls for another one to three feet of snow before Sunday.This is all good right? No drought. But lodge is effectively inaccessible. Karen has a carload of groceries waiting for the highway to open and we will bring in the food by toboggan later today.
If you are coming to the lodge, please think hard about whether you and your group is up to the physical demands of these kinds of conditions. We may not have parking or road access until Sunday (he says optimistically). So snowshoes or AT skis with skins are needed. And BRING CHAINS AND A SHOVEL!
On the eve of the storm – Wednesday mid-dayFebruary 13, 2019
I can’t imagine anyone in the state of California has not heard of the current “atmospheric river” event. We need to recognize that this is going to mess us up something fierce.
It is already snowing at the lodge (has been for a few hours) and the temperature is now rising. The forecast is for rain up to 8,000 feet; we are at 7,200. So imagine a couple of feet of wet snow, and then an inch of rain on top of that snow, and then a couple of feet of wet snow on top of the now frozen rain. That’s what our road is going to look like by Thursday night. It is a safe assumption that Highway 80 is going to closed at times between now and Friday, and will be under chain control for any time it is open. Donner Pass Road will be open but dangerous. Our road will be much safer than that because it will be completely shut down.
We will monitor conditions in the Union Pacific lot (sometimes referred to as the overflow lot or the employee parking lot), just to the north of our lane, near the top of the lane. If it is plowed and the snow has stopped, you can park there and walk down (don’t park there if it needs more plowing – you don’t want an irritated plow operator adjusting your sideview mirrors). Alternatively, there is walking down from the gondola. Money and/or a honey tongue may get you into the covered parking at the gondola (but tough on a long weekend) and overnight parking is also allowed on the shoulder of Donner Pass Road, east of the gondola, on the south side only. Anyone walking down from the gondola should have snow shoes or AT skis. Wading through this snow otherwise is asking for a heart attack.
Of course, at 9,000 feet, we could see 7 feet of new snow just in time for the long weekend. How cool is that!
Monday am (Feb 11) UpdateFebruary 11, 2019
The road and parking lot are clear. It should be a great ski day. Conditions will deteriorate quickly starting Tuesday evening/Wendesday. Some forecasts are suggesting snow levels will be above 7,500 (ie., several hundred feet above the lodge). Rain on the snow will make for really tough conditions.
Sunday Noon UpdateFebruary 10, 2019
Big storm came through last night (Feb 9). But the snow has stopped for the time being, it is really cold, and Sugar Bowl just opened. It should be an amazing afternoon of skiing. Tomorrow is looking pretty good too. But with the amount of snow we have received, there is just no way to keep the lane open. Walk down from the Gondola. People have successfully parked up there ($25 per night). You will need snowshoes or back country skis.
Road Report for ThursdayFebruary 7, 2019Tim had a big plow on the road yesterday but they only made a quarter of the way before they used up all their shear pins. He says they’re coming back today to finish the job. He said if they don’t he’s going to work tonight with his machine to get it clear.The u p / overflow lot is now plowed out and that is going to be usable for parking overnight. So if the road is not open it’s going to be a fairly easy walk down from there to the lodge.
Snowed in…February 4, 2019
Mid-Week Chores ReminderFebruary 4, 2019
As a reminder, for those folks coming up mid-week: please make a reservation for every night of your stay, even if it’s last minute. And of course, pay for each night you stay.
Also, in addition to cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen and bathroom, please do one additional chore per day to help out the club, caretakers, and our little community. Great mid-week chores include: shoveling snow off the deck or entryway roof, cleaning the counters and mirrors in the bathroom, bringing up wood, or vacuuming the rec-room. Whatever needs to be done most. Thanks in advance for your help!
Lodge completely snowed inFebruary 4, 2019
Just left there this am (2/4/19) and it is completely snowed in. Snow is piled high everywhere and the snowplows/blowers can’t keep up. They only had Christmas Tree open today. Full on Blizzard. Wednesday is the day! It’s going to take Tim (and everyone else up at Norden) a few days to dig out. Tim only has Wed and Thursday, b/c more is coming! We’ll let you know, but likely going to continue to be a park at Sugar Bowl enclosed parking and hike down.
Road is clear… but road is diceyJanuary 23, 2019
From Ed Oviatt Today: Good news!Tim got up @ 4 AM today (WED) to free his snowplow & carve out 0SC parking areas & just returned.Hooray for Tim! That’s a long day! I made it up & down the road with my JEEP Cherokee 4X4 in extra low gear & big husky snow tires. Don’t try it with any less capable vehicle! There’s not going to be parking for that many cars on Sat, by the way. Some will probably have to drop off their stuff then park in the SB lot at end of road. First come, first serve! Also, not all should dare the road!
All Clear!January 23, 2019
Yesterday, Tim got the road open. Today, he finished plowing out the parking lots. We are good to go, with no snow in the forecast for a few days. So you no longer have an excuse not to go skiing.
OSC is inaccessible. There is NO parking up at the Gondola.January 18, 2019
Just skinned into the club – there is NO access other than on skins or snowshoes. Tim’s machine is snowbound mid-road. There is NO parking up at the gondola, you’ll have to pay $25 at the garage (don’t know hours) or say ‘you’re a friend of Tim’s’ and maybe you’ll get a hall pass… They haven’t plowed out room for cars to overnight on the road. Coming up tonight requires deep thought! (highway 80 is wide open though, just a bit slow at the top)
OSC is virtually snowed in…January 18, 2019This just in from Sandra, who is at the club (the internet is supposedly down). “Here is my snow report…. The snow is deep and impassable even on foot without snow shoes now. More is expected Sunday. Tim was a snow god and worked day and night until one of his machines failed and I was relieved to see him finally get some sleep. It was quite the storm and he was a hero. Nevertheless I would discourage weekenders over the weekend until the road is passable.”I’ll be up there in a few hours and update the blog post based on what I see. Likely parking up at the Gondola is the only way to go…
Please park up at the GondolaJanuary 16, 2019
Tim is on it, but this is one fierce storm and if you don’t want to get stuck, we would suggest you don’t come down the road to the lodge from today (Wednesday) through Saturday am. Hopefully by Saturday it will be all clear. In the meantime, you can park on the North side (Gondola side) of the road where you won’t be towed or plowed under (towards Judah).
Time for a Reality CheckJanuary 15, 2019
We have two storms hitting back to back this week. Some forecasts are suggesting 5 to 6 feet of snow at the lodge between Tuesday and Thursday night. So let’s be realistic. We have neither the equipment nor the manpower to stay ahead of a snow event like this. Tim will be working 24 hours a day to try to keep up with the snow, but there is a limit to what he can do. Access to the lodge may be highly limited this weekend. At best, we will have a single lane. Parking may be limited; you may have to dig your way in and out of a spot.
Carry chains. Every weekend, we find someone who came up to the mountains, in a snow storm, with all-weather tires and no chains. Really people? And a shovel! Chains don’t matter when you are high-centered.
SleddingJanuary 14, 2019
SLEDDING near the lodge: Just a reminder that there is NO sledding down onto the main road (though tempting!) as during a storm, a car or Tim plowing is not likely to be able to see someone in the road. Kids should be sledding out behind the Lodge on our little hill and stop well before the river. There were some kids sledding near the river farther up towards the road a few weeks back, who were warned off. We’ve all seen the intense rush of that creek/river in the spring, and imagine it continues to run through the winter under a shifting mantle of snow. If you see any of the kids getting too close to the creek, please let them know that it’s extremely dangerous.
A word from Bernhard on the roadJanuary 10, 2019Road is plowed and i made it in and out with my outback. High clearence required and 4wd required. The problem is that railroad bulldozers and snowcats go down the road, cross the road, make berms , and generally mess up Tim‘s work. He keeps fixing it, so it is ok. Bring chains, just in case to get you out of tight spot. Bernhard
Thursday evening updateJanuary 10, 2019
The word from people who have gone the road is that it is single lane. It will be a couple of days before it is widened out.
Thursday’s Road StatusJanuary 10, 2019
The road is clear. There is lots of snow so all the usual warnings apply.
Road Update, Monday evening.January 7, 2019
Tim reports that the road is in good shape as of 5:00 pm, Monday.
Please still put on the chains.
Road ProblemJanuary 7, 2019
Hey all – PG&E had a problem on our road last night (sorry – I have not details). It is currently not passable. We are hoping it will be clear late this afternoon.
The First Really Big Storm of the YearJanuary 6, 2019
It hit last night! Forecasts were all over the map but the reality was about 18″ at the lodge by breakfast. And it is still coming down!
Last check – 80 was open but chains required. Our road is open to vehicles with some clearance and chains.
Tim plowed at 7:30 and again at 4:00 am. He will hit it again during the day but show is accumulating at about 1 to 2 inches per hour so you should count on dealing with a few inches at least on the road.
This storm is consolidating into other storms and it could keep this up for three more days. So lots could happen. Be sure that a) you check conditions before you start out, b) you have chains and a shovel in the car with you, and c) you have water and some food in case you get stuck on 80 for hours.
In the meantime, for those who are here, the conditions are spectacular.
Preparing for a Big WeekendDecember 28, 2018
Not much to report. The road is clear, the skies are clear, and everyone is on vacation. Busy weekend at the lodge. Have fun everyone.
Christmas Eve UpdateDecember 24, 2018
It is 1:30 on Monday and I just spoke with Tim. There has been 8 inches of really heavy snow at lodge, falling on top of a little bit or rain earlier in the day. So the roads are a mess. The forecast is for another foot. Currently, Tim is keeping ahead of things and our lane is clear. But stay tuned and put on the chains before you go down the lane.
With lots of people coming in later in the week, I will post another update on late tomorrow.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Parking at the LodgeDecember 21, 2018
As always happens about this time of year, the circular drive at the lodge is getting icy. Given the slight slope, it is not really usable unless you have four wheel drive WITH chains. Four wheeling alone won’t work. Best to park in one of the two lots closer to the road.
Twas the week before Christmas . . .December 19, 2018
Moderate occupancy at the lodge – there is still room if you want to make a last minute trip up. Meals start on Saturday and continue through the holidays.
The road is clear. There is a little snow coming in over the next four days, but easy stuff to deal. Access will not be a problem. Just prepare for slippery surfaces on the lane.
I have seen forecasts for a big storm on Sunday, so if you are there over the weekend, keep an eye on it. Get up the lane before there is enough accumulation to close you in.
Saturday BreakfastsDecember 15, 2018
The Board is experimenting with a change in format. For years, people came up on Friday evening and woke to a hot breakfast Saturday morning, a lovely way to start the weekend. Plus, it is a great deal, since Friday nights are the non-meal price. Times have changed. For traffic and other reasons, most people do not come up on Friday but rather, try to get an early start Saturday morning and go straight to the slopes. But we have continued to serve up a hot Saturday breakfast as if we had a lodge full of people.
At least for a few weeks, we are experimenting with a slightly reduced format on Saturday mornings. Bread, bagels, cold cereal, juice, etc. will all be set out. But the caretaker will not do up anything more extensive than that. For those who wish to cook up a little something more (and clean the resulting dishes), eggs, oatmeal, and the like are available.
We think this will reduce wasted food, clean up, and caretaker effort. But if people want the full Monty on Saturday morning, please let Woolsey know and we will revert.
Reducing Our FootprintDecember 15, 2018
One of our goals at OSC is to live lightly on the land. To that end, we avoid phosphate soaps, minimize electricity use, car pool, etc. Here is another idea.
Most of us come up for only a night or two at a time. We use a sheet (underneath a sleeping bag) and a pillow case for that one night, and then put both in the laundry, to be washed (water used and soap expelled) and dried (electricity consumed). We would reduce environmental impact, plus wear and tear on the caretaker, if we each kept a sheet and a couple of pillows cases in our lockers and only changed or washed them as necessary. Just a suggestion.
December 15/16 UpdateDecember 15, 2018
Friday night, 10:00: I just got up to lodge. There is no new snow but there seems to be coverage. The groomers are on the hills. The road is a thin layer of hardpacked snow, a little icy. Drive carefully coming down the lane.
Karen left out lemon bars and cocoa for the late arrivals tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bluebird day, with more snow coming in on Sunday. It is a great time to be in the mountains, so come on up before the holiday crowds hit.
Another Great Winter Ahead of Us!December 11, 2018
Walkin’ in a winter wonderland…