Moab Winter Condition Update 11-5-19

Cottonwood in Professor Valley

Cottonwood in Professor Valley

Temperatures are dropping and leaves are starting to fall off of the trees here in Moab. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Winter is well on its way. Only a few more weeks and we’ll be switching to ski mode!


We are seeing near-freezing or freezing temperatures in the lows this week. While still cold at night and in the morning, it’s a welcome change from the cold spell last week. High’s are still in the 60’s, which is rather pleasant and ideal for activities! Sending temps!

Current Weather for Moab.

Mountain Biking

The upper sections of The Whole Enchilada bike trail have been closed for the season. Burro Pass and Hazard County are currently closed. However, the lower section from Kokopelli is still open. Please refer to the Poison Spider Conditions for up to date trail information.


A fair amount of ski resorts in Colorado have already seen significant snowfall. Arapahoe Basin currently has 2 lifts open with an 18″ base depth. Eldorra has 3 lifts open with a 20″ base. And Keystone has 8 lifts open with an 18″ base. So there are running lifts to sit on and snow to put skis on with a bit of a drive from Moab if you are so inclined.

Moab has not seen any significant snowfall as of yet, aside from a quick dusting last week. But that is probably best for avalanche conditions later in the season. If significant snowfall occurs and is not immediately melted, or if it doesn’t snow consistently throughout November, dangerous avalanche conditions could develop at the bottom of the snowpack.

Surface Hoar

Weak Surface Hoar Crystals

What can occur with early season snow is that there is a possibility of weakening the integrity of the snowpack. In high elevation, cold areas such as the La Sals, temperature gradients in the snowpack may cause facet layers to develop. When the ground temperature is different than the snow surface temperature, it can create grains on the surface of the snow layer that collapse when loaded with new snow. Think about a book set delicately on top of dominoes. When one domino topples, the entire book collapses. It’s the same idea with buried facet layers. If you have a weak, faceted later at the bottom of the snowpack in November, the integrity of the snowpack is compromised right from the start. No Bueno. So for the sake of our precious snowpack, lets’s pray for it to not snow for now. Or pray for it to snow consistently throughout the month if it does.

In the meantime, try to squeeze out the last bit of nice weather! Get on your bike, put on your harness, lace up your shoes and make the most of it while it lasts. It will be skiing time before we know it.

In the shop, we are starting to transition to winter mode. We have plenty of hats, gloves, sweaters, jackets, microspikes, ski equipment, tubes, and other cold-weather supplies to get you ready for the winter. Come on in and say hello!  We are OPEN from 8AM to 9PM 7 days a week.