Project Description

It’s starting to feel a little less like winter around here this week. The inversion cleared out for a bit, and we finally got a taste of that desert sun again. It’s undoubtedly been missed around these parts. Just two more months and it’ll be river season, hang in there. Warm weather is just around the corner.

Road Conditions:

The Loop Rd is free of snow and ice and the Geyser Pass Rd was plowed to the winter trailhead on Tuesday, according to the UAC. Geyser Pass Rd is still packed with snow. It’s a bit easier to get up there recently then it has been earlier this winter, but id still only recommend capable vehicles attempt to get up to Geyser Pass Winter Trailhead. Please refer to the Utah Avalanche Center for up to date road conditions. Here’s a photo.

Loop Rd

Geyser Pass Rd.

Storm Totals This Week:

The Utah Avalanche Center reported 5” of new snow fell in the La Sal mountains this week. Nothing to write home about, but certainly a welcome refresher for the mountain snow conditions. The Abajo’s saw anywhere from 3-6” of new snowflakes falling from the sky. 

 

 

Utah seems to be the overall winner here over Colorado. Snowbird saw 41” in the last ten days. It’s deep out in the Wasatch! With more snow in the forecast, it’s about as good a time as any to make it up to Salt Lake for some turns.

Backcountry Skiing:

The UAC is reporting a base depth of 50” in the La Sal’s as of 1/31/2020. A plenty healthy snowpack for this time of year at 108% of average. 

The UAC has reported northerly winds in the mountains, which is a bummer, cause that’s where the goods generally reside. Let’s hope for some new snow or at least a change in wind direction to improve conditions. In the meantime, low angle trees provide excellent skiing right now.

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing.

LUNA has groomed all Nordic trails this morning. Thanks, Matt! Nordic skiing conditions should be fast and fun this week. Get up there and get some fresh tracks on the corduroy! We also have a donation box in the shop to support the work that LUNA does for the skiing community. Consider donating.

Marshall and family got a chance to head up to the Gold Basin Yurt from Talking Yurts this week. It was a very good time. What a wonderful thing winter time Yurts are. They provide access to awesome Nordic and Backcountry skiing without having to make the drive, and you get to cozy up in the mountains next to the fire. What more could you ask for?

At the yurt!

The Gold Basin Yurt stands at about 10,000 feet in the La Sal’s and is only a short 1.5-mile skin in from the Geyser Pass Winter Trailhead. The structure is about 20 feet and sleeps up to 8 skiers. There are bunks for up to 8, a woodburning stove with stocked wood, kitchen supplies, and a small library with games and books. No bedding is supplied. Please contact Talking Mountain Yurts to check availability and reserve your stay.

Taking in the scenery

Snowshoeing and exploring are also great at this time. Get out and adventure! 

Weather:

This weekend will be warm and sunny, well, at least warmer than it’s been; I spy a high of 46 coming up! High’s will be in the 40’s this week until a snowstorm blows in Tuesday, dropping us into the 30’s in town. Lows will vary from teens to mid 20’s. 

NOAA Weather

The La sals will see highs in the 30’s dropping to the teens during the storm. Low’s will be in the 20’s dropping to 0 on Tuesday night. Let’s hope we get a nice refresh from the storm. Here’s the forecast. 

 

NOAA Weather

Mountain Biking:

Biking trails remain closed at this time due to snow, ice, and mud. Please respect the closures and don’t ride on wet, snowy, or icy trails. Check the Poison Spider Conditions page for information concerning when the trails will open back up.

Climbing/Canyoneering:

With the snowy and adverse conditions in town, I would say it’s safe to say that climbing is sketchy at the moment. Please respect the sandstone and don’t climb on the wet rock. It’s straightforward to tell if the stone is wet or not. If the ground is considerably wet, the climbs are too.  Consider heading south for better conditions. I was in St George this week, and conditions were perfect. T-Shirt weather, even.

Canyoneering is questionable as the rock is icy, snowy, and wet. That could compromise some anchors. Though it’s certainly doable, I would say it’s not quite canyon time yet. 

Hiking:

Climbers Trail with Cryptobiotic Soil next to it.

The hiking around town remains impressive. The contrast between red and white is something I can’t stop thinking about it. However, I’ve noticed that it’s sometimes hard to stay on the trail in these conditions, and sometimes there is cryptobiotic soil right next to the trail. Please be prepared to stay on the trail with waterproof boots to hike through puddles instead of going around them and microspikes to get enough traction on ice and snow. Please try to stay strictly on the path and not take side trails or step on crypto. We have microspikes and waterproof boots in the shop if you need to pick some up.

Shop Updates:

We still have many winter sales happening throughout the store. This week we have Black Diamond Iota headlamps at a considerable discount. We also have deals on hats and other winter clothing. Just look for the pink tag! We are open every day from 8 AM to 9 PM all winter long.

Employee Spotlight:

Jane Vagen. 

My name is Jane, I’m 22, and I’ve lived in Moab for two years. I’m originally from Salt Lake

City, Utah. Growing up in a place with such excellent access to the outdoors has been such a blessing; my childhood

was spent skiing powder with my grandpa in Brighton, exploring the Wasatch front, and camping

out at the Salt Flats. As soon as I got my first car, I was off sightseeing the National Parks of the

southwest. Shortly after that, I discovered Moab and all its awesomeness. I was in awe at

the aesthetics, the profound features, and how the desert dwellers recreated in its

cliffs and canyons.

My niche in the outdoor scene is aid climbing bolt ladders, climbing obscure desert towers, and

rigging silks and high-lines, silks being my newest venture. This upcoming season I’m

excited to start rigging the exposed lines. When I’m not dangling, I enjoy dropping canyons,

yoga, and slacking at the park.

Working at Moab Gear Trader has been an exceptional endeavor; gearing people up for their

adventures, and seeing all kinds of crazy gear come in. I’ve been there for almost a year now,

and I am looking forward to this year as well!

Events This Week:

 

Dodgeball! The 8th annual BEACON Afterschool Dodgeball tournament is coming up. Gather a team of 6-10 people and compete for the prestigious Moab Gear Trader Belt. February 8th at 10 AM Grand Country Middle School.

 

Winterlude Music Festival. Enjoy some classical music benefiting Grand County. February 4th at 7 PM, Star Hall