Project Description

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak)

Winter is officially over! We may get a few more spring storms to beef up the snowpack in the La Sals, but it is unlikely that we will see a significant increase in snow until the fall. However, there is still plenty of snow to be had in the La Sals, particularly after last weekend’s snowstorm. There is still plenty of skiing to be had in the mountains, and the Lower Utah Nordic Alliance (LUNA) will be grooming throughout the rest of the spring! You can get updates on when they groom the nordic trail on their Instagram page

We wanted to take some time to do a final Snow Conditions Update for Moab Gear Trader, as well as to focus on some highlights for the season. 

As a final reminder for the season, the Utah Avalanche Center does frequent weekly reports on the snow conditions all throughout the spring season. Please consult their website and full condition reports before adventuring into the mountains this year. It has been a particularly deadly year in Utah and our hearts go out to the families affected by these tragedies.  

La Sal Mountain Conditions 

(Photo Credit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/)

Looking back at the year, this was a fairly dry winter, up until that storm on 3/13-3/14 when we finally reached 95% average snowpack. For most of the winter, we were hovering around 50%, with several infrequent storms. Early in the season, we had a few low-volume storms that left the base of the snowpack weak and faceted, this was part of the reason it has been such a bad season for avalanches. 

If you want to check out the full snow averages for this and past years, please follow this link! 

In the La Sals alone we had over 20 documented avalanches of various sizes, The Utah Avalanche Center has more information on the size and timing of those. It is very likely that there were many many more, and the only ones we have recorded are because of the hard work from the folks at the Utah Avalanche Center and other volunteers. If you appreciate the work they do, please consider supporting them with a donation

Regional Conditions 

(Photo Credit: https://snowbrains.com/)

The biggest takeaway from this year has been the dangerous backcountry skiing conditions in most places in the Colorado Plateau/South West. In Salt Lake City this year there was unprecedented avalanche danger. Infamously, on February 17th the Danger Rose model that the Utah Avalanche Center displays turned completely black, indicating that avalanches were a certainty.

Weather

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak)

Throughout most of the winter, temps were cold, with a fair amount of frozen nights. Around town, there were at least 3 weeks where snow accumulated and stuck around town, but Moab had a fairly dry winter. As a climber, I climbed at least two days a week in safe and dry conditions. While a dry winter is good news for rock climbers, it is bad news for river rafting enthusiasts. Less snow means significantly less water in our rivers which can alter the river’s rapids and safety in some places. 

The Colorado River is currently at 57% capacity from what it normally is, and the Green River is currently at 54% capacity. This is below average as Utah is still in a drought. In Grand County, we have received nearly half an inch less rain this year than what is normal. 

Shop Conditions 

(Photo Credit Marshall Dvorscak) 

All year long we have been doing our best during the pandemic to keep our doors open while also protecting our employees. We have been sanitizing hourly, all of our employees wear masks, and we require masks to be worn by all of our customers. It has been a rough season for a small family-owned business, but we are excited to make it work and are looking forward to the spring season very much! 

Over the winter season, we were fortunate enough to participate in the Moab Buy Local Bucks program which was part of the CARES Act to support small communities like ours. This program gave all residents of Moab City $45 to spend at local participating businesses. We want to thank, again, everyone who participated in this program and used the economic assistance to shop at Moab Gear Trader. 

Looking forward to the spring season, we are hiring! If you are looking for a job with a crew of friendly coworkers, and maximum flexibility, please fill out our job application online. 

 

That’s a Wrap! 

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

Thanks to everyone who spent time with us over the winter, we hope the winter updates have been useful to you and your ski season. We will likely pick these up again in the fall. 

We look forward to seeing you (with a mask) in our store very soon!