The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and tourism is returning to the canyon country. Spring is right around the corner here in Moab, and it’s been very refreshing to get a taste of the changing seasons this week. We will see a brief return to winter this weekend, but all in all, it won’t be long before we’re enjoying this amazing weather full time.
The Utah Avalanche Center has reported that the roads are plowed, but remain icy and snow-packed in places. The prolonged sunny conditions have improved the road situation, but it is still advised to come equipped with four-wheel drive or chains to make it to the Geyser Pass Winter trailhead. The loop road is free of ice and snow, but that may change with the upcoming storm this weekend. Be prepared with blankets, extra food and water, and other emergency supplies when headed into winter conditions.
Storm Totals This Week.
It’s been a relatively dry week in Colorado, and moderately snowy in northern Utah. Anywhere from 0” to 20” of the good’s have fallen from the sky this week. As we are near the end of February, we only have about one more month of winter proper. Let’s hope for a miracle march to end the season with a bang. Here are the snow totals for the last five days.
Utah was the winner this week with 16 more inches than Colorado; Little Cottonwood Canyon seem’s to be where all the snow is this season. The canyon currently sits at 130% of the average snowfall for the season, according to the USDA.
The UAC has reported wind-scoured, icy, and otherwise unpleasant conditions in the La Sal’s. The lack of snowfall has resulted in the deterioration of the snowpack resulting in large scale faceting on the surface of the snow. While the “Loud pow” is fun to ski in sheltered, isolated areas, the UAC warns that these conditions may plague the snowpack for the rest of the season. In the meantime, avalanche danger remains low all around. I suppose we will see how this next storm plays out as far as safe and fun conditions are concerned. Please check in with the Utah Avalanche Center for updated information on snow conditions.
Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing:
LUNA last groomed the Geyser Pass Nordic Track on Tuesday, according to the UAC. Do you like your trails groomed? Come on in to the shop and donate to LUNA! We have a donation box set up at the front desk, and all proceeds go right back into the grooming efforts.
As nothing has been groomed in several days, the conditions are not quite fresh corduroy. However, it’s still a great time to get out and slide around under the sunny and pleasant conditions we’ve seen lately.
A storm will blow in this weekend, briefly taking out the sunny and warm conditions we’ve been enjoying lately. The sun will make a reappearance on Monday and look’s to stay out for the rest of the week. High’s will dip into the lower 40’s, and low’s will hover in the high 20’s and low 30’s. Here’s the forecast for Moab.
There is a winter weather advisory in effect Saturday through Sunday in the La Sal’s. There is currently a 100% chance of snow in the mountains. Be prepared if you are trying to access the mountains this weekend. High’s will be in the 30’s dropping down into the 20’s later this week. Lows will be in the 20’s dropping down into the lower teen’s. Let’s hope for a nice refresh for late-season skiing
Biking conditions have been pretty great lately. We’ve seen many more trails open for riding, and the colder and brisk conditions have proven to be pretty nice for working up a sweat. I got out onto the Lazy EZ and Circle-O trails this week and can report excellent riding conditions. Open trails include Slickrock, Amasa/Cpt Ahab, Lazy EZ, North 40 (Use Caution), Circle O/Rockin A, Borderline/Wahoo/Zoltar/Dunestone, Navajo Rocks, and Poison Spider Mesa. That’s plenty to choose from! With the snow and rain on the way this weekend, expect closures. Please refer to the Poison Spider Conditions Page for up to date trail conditions.
With the sunshine and pleasant temperatures, the desert seems to have finally allowed us safe passage to the cliffs and canyons. Conditions in the sun have been heavenly. The key to that statement is in the sun. It’s still very chilly in the shadier sections. As long as you can chase the sun all day, the climbing conditions are excellent. I made it out to Indian Creek this week and was able to enjoy excellent conditions with little crowds. It’s a great time to get out there before everyone finds out!
Canyoneering has also been pretty great recently. I was able to drop into Upper Granary Canyon this week and found the conditions to be somewhat snowy and icy but by all means manageable. If you plan on descending into canyons this week, make sure to bring extra webbing to replace anchors. You will likely be among the first to explore since last fall. As always, be aware of weather conditions before dropping into any canyons. Flash flooding is real.
Hiking has been beautiful. Most trails are free of ice and snow as of Friday 2/21, That could very well change this weekend. Please be prepared to travel on muddy, slick, and potentially icy trails this week as imminent precipitation is in the forecast. Please stay on trails and avoid creating new pathways, if at all possible.
We have been gearing up for the spring season at the shop this week. There have been massive updates to our processing department that ensures we get your gear on the sales floor faster than ever. We still have MANY 40% sales storewide. Come in and check out the deals on new outerwear, base layers, climbing harnesses, eye protection, new tents, and much more! We are OPEN from 8 AM to 9 PM every day of the week.
Landon Kohler is a rafter, hiker, snowboarder, and curious soul from Logan, Utah. Growing up in Logan, Landon had access to several canyons, and he spent countless nights under the stars in the outdoors. His father was an avid hunter and outdoorsman and put great importance on scouting and being outdoors. After Landon completed college, he started a career in Engineering and worked for two years in the field before he quit to live his real dream, life as a dirtbag Whitewater boater. Armed with his Hyundai Elantra, and a supreme amount of stoke, he continues to live this dream today. There is nothing else in the world that Landon enjoys more than flowing water, and rafting allows him to flow with it. His favorite outdoor trips have been boating Desolation Canyon and Cataract Canyon. His favorite piece of gear is his 10 ft boat because of rafting, of course. He would like to pursue Rappelling and Paragliding in the future because it would provide a different perspective of the landscape and a different way to enjoy nature. Come chat with Landon next time you’re in the shop. He’s always eager to help you out with plans and ideas for your next great adventure.
Events This Week:
Cosy Sheridan Live in Concert. February 22nd, at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center. 7:00-10:00 PM.
Dog Agility Trials. February 22nd and 23rd, Old Spanish Trail Arena.
What Went Wrong: The Fall and Redemption of Seussical: Grand County High School. Sat, February 22, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.