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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Winter in a week! or Spring brings Winter

Well, what we didn't get for four months, we got in a week. That is, the past 9 days or so have featured real winter weather, dumping more than a meter of snow above 4k ft, and more than a foot at the relatively low elevation of 2,400 (at least in the S. Stillaguamish headwaters.


While the water content/snowpack of the recent storms is not what it would be if we had had four months of real winter, it still looks nice and goes along way to making hydro-electric operators and ratepayers happy, fisherman and fish happy, and farmers happy too. Dr. Pelto and I had hoped March would "come in like a lion"--sure glad April is roaring--let's keep it going for another 6 weeks (not unheard of in our North Cascades)!


Oh, it makes us ski-touring types happy--this is only the second time all "winter" that this area has been ski-able. Headwaters are a special place, and S. Fork Stilly is one of my favs. Amazing that there's a mega-lopolis (Seattle - Vancouver) within a couple of hours of this place--I didn't see another human all day...



Note this area is not part of American Alps, but it is unprotected, and part of a Wilderness conservation effort known as "Cascades Wild". It is just getting going, and NCCC is an active participant in that effort as well! As evidenced by these photos, the area is worthy of federal recognition...
My earlier blog about the perils of such a low snowpack are still valid, but this past week has sure made the outlook better, and if we do get a few more weeks like it, we may actually have a bit of snow on the glaciers this summer.

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