Project Description

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

There has been no new snow in the La Sals since our last update, so essentially backcountry skiing and snowmobiling off the road is not possible. Fortunately, the Nordic skiing is as good as it gets! The grooming, done by the Lower Utah Nordic Alliance (or LUNA for short) has been well taken care of in the last few weeks. The snow is firm and skate skiing is really nice. If you’re excited to use your skis this winter definitely take some time to enjoy the Nordic Trail in the La Sals. 

The Utah Avalanche Center has updated their avalanche warning to moderate in the La Sals. Northerly facing slopes are still at risk, but since there has been very little snow in the last few weeks the risk is isolated to specific features. Please check The Utah Avalanche Center’s website for a full report!  

It is cold but sunny in Moab these days, but there is a storm on the horizon! Next Tuesday (1/19) we should be getting some snow, so be prepared! 

The La Sal Loop Road is mostly pavement at this point, but there are lots of deer and some nasty patches of ice. Two-wheel drive vehicles can make it up to the Geyser pass trailhead but please drive cautiously if you plan on exploring up there. 

Moab Gear Trader is Moab’s Winter Sports Headquarters!  We have Moab’s largest selection of hiking traction for icy trails, snowshoes for mount adventures, backcountry avalanche gear, and one of the largest brick and mortar collections of Nordic Touring Gear in the US.  We also are well stocked with NEW & USED hats, gloves, scarves, balaclavas, snow boots, hand warmers, goggles, and mittens.  These tools will allow you to enjoy our desert and mountain home comfortably.

La Sal Mountain Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

The La Sal Loop road is mostly pavement and the Geyser Pass road is primarily dirt and mud with substantial washboards. There are still snowy or icy patches however so please drive cautiously. Two wheel drive vehicles can make it to the trailhead, but should always carry chains. 4×4 vehicles are preferred. 

2021 is the year to pick up Nordic skiing. It has tons of health benefits including cardio, muscle building, cross training for your summer time sports, and it’s a good social distancing activity to boot! You can bring the whole family up into the La Sals for sledding, snow shoeing, or Nordic skiing this time of year. The snow is packed and smooth and the weather has been fantastic, so the groomed track is in great condition. There is little to no snow off trail however, so you probably won’t find much joy exploring off trail. 

Unfortunately, the La Sals are unlikely to be a good place for backcountry skiing this year. The Utah Avalanche Center has a full report, but the current weak snowpack bodes ill for any additional layers of snow that might fall in the upcoming storms. Any new snow that falls will likely avalanche easily. 

Moab Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak)

Moab weather will remain fairly consistent all week, with temps barely rising above 42 degrees at the highest and not dipping down any lower than 20 degrees at night. 

It will be sunny and clear up until Monday when things get a bit more cloudy, and on Tuesday we are likely to see a snowstorm in town. This bodes very well for snow in the La Sals, but it is still unlikely to be a safe year to explore off trail. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will be overcast and cold, and Saturday we are likely to see more snow and possibly rain because of the moderate temps. 

This is a great time to get out the snow shoes, sleds, traction devices, and Nordic Skis in Moab, as we will be enjoying a fresh layer of snow all over town and throughout the region. 

Currently, highways 313, 191, Potash Road, and Kane Creek Boulevard are all clear, and the roads to Monticello and Dead Horse point are also clear. It is unlikely that they will close after this week’s storms, but stay tuned and check back to see if conditions have updated before you drive out to any of those locations. 

If you are planning to hike, climb, or mountain bike around town remember to layer up, bring a head lamp, and stick to the South Facing parts of town!

Regional Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

The Colorado Plateau and the South West are still experiencing poor avalanche conditions. Most places have seen a weak sugary layer of snow, with a high likelihood of avalanches as new snow continues to fall. 

According to the Canyonlands Website, the Schaefer trail is closed due to impassable snow. And if you check in with the folks at The Moab Trail Mix Facebook Page, they are reporting on decent mountain bike trail conditions as long as you try to head out early so the ground is still frozen when you ride.  

Weather looks good to fair for the rest of the region, we should be seeing snow fall all over the South West and the Colorado Plateau in the next week, so get stoked! 

Denver: Low 50’s to High 40’s 

Vernal: Low 30’s to High 20’s with snow on Saturday and Sunday! 

Jackson Hole: Low 20’s with snow this Sunday and again Friday and Saturday! 

Salt Lake City: Low 40’s with snow on Friday and Saturday!

Flagstaff: Temps are all over the place, but from Tuesday-Saturday there will be snow!

Durango: Mid 40’s with snow on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday!

Weather Forecast

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

The weather in Moab this weekend will remain clear and beautiful with clear sunny skies all day and temperature highs in the mid 40’s. It will begin to cool off on Monday morning and get a bit cloudy, but weather will really start to roll in on Tuesday with a winter snow storm. The remainder of the week will be cold and cloudy, likely leading to snow sticking around town, and then will be followed by an additional snow storm on Saturday and likely bleeding into Sunday as well. 

Sunday (1/17) is the nicest day this week, so if you’re planning to get outside and recreate, I would do it then! 

Once the snow rolls in it will be all about snow sports in Moab again. 

Shop Conditions

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

There are new winter boots on sale in the store right now, so if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a sturdy pair of winter shoes we’ve got you covered! Additionally, we have new styles of sleds, and we’ve fully restocked all our ski maintenance equipment. Get your ski wax, scrapers, and wax irons at Moab Gear Trader and keep those skis in good condition! 

Outside the store our sales racks are stuffed, and inside you can see tons of fresh consignment gear which we are processing every day. As the winter season progresses, we are slowly beginning to prepare for spring! 

If you want to check out our inventory you can do so on our shop website, feel free to peruse and purchase from the comfort of your own home.  

A friendly reminder that Moab Gear Trader is a proud participant of the Buy Local Bucks program all winter long. All residents of Grand County should have received three $15 Buy Local Bucks coupons to be used at local businesses in Moab! These coupons can be used like real money and don’t expire until March 1st, 2021. 

This Buy Local Bucks program has been made possible thanks to Federal CARES Act funding.

Thank you to everyone who comes in to shop local for all your adventure needs in 2021. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Nordic Skiing

With backcountry skiing being so dangerous right now, we encourage our customers to take up Nordic skiing! There is an excellent groomed trail in the La Sals, Geyser Pass Road, and it’s a great social distancing activity as well! Our nordic ski equipment will be the most commonly updated item in our store this time of year. 

Moab Gear Trader has the largest in-stock inventories of metal edge nordic skis in the west. We have a wide variety of boots, poles, and clothing for your first or fiftieth time in the mountains this winter. 

Snow Shoes 

Another fantastic alternative to backcountry skiing is snowshoeing. We encourage everyone to just get out into the mountains (safely) as often as possible. Until the avalanche danger clears up, we should all be getting out on to the groomed track in the La Sals. Our friendly staff can help you pick out the right snowshoes for you, just stop by and we’ll get you set up in no time. Stay warm, layer up, and have a good time out there! 

Avalanche Gear 

The shop is stocked with avalanche gear this time of year, so stay safe and stock up. The avalanche danger is at an all-time high in most areas right now. Stay safe and if you do venture into the backcountry, make sure you bring your avi equipment. We have shovels, probes, and beacons, from brands like Black Diamond, Arva, and Pieps. If you intend to do some winter mountaineering this season you will need a fully equipped avalanche kit. We also have plenty of ice axes, snow flukes, warm winter mountaineering jackets, and boots! 

Camping

Many people will be forgoing camping this time of year, however, we know there are still a few snow camping crazies out there. Are you one of them? Make sure you have a warm sleeping bag and pad to keep you cozy during the below-freezing night temps. Stop by the shop to check out our large selection of 0° and even colder rated bags. Did you know your sleeping pad also needs to be insulated for comfortable winter camping?

Hiking

Warm layers aren’t just about jackets and boots. Make sure you have a neck gaiter, warm socks, gloves, hats, long underwear, and more for your weekly hike to Hidden Valley. Layering up will be crucial to your enjoyment of outdoor hikes. At this point in the year, it would be silly to hike without traction devices. Get yours today to make your favorite Moab hikes safe and enjoyable.

Climbing

It may be getting too cold to climb in Moab, but we know there are still a few desperate climbers out and about seeking the sunny crags. Bring your puffiest jackets to the crag and don’t forget the hand warmers! Belay gloves can make a huge difference as well, so make sure to pick a pair up on your way to the crag. 

Biking

We always stock basic accessories for bikes, including lights, bells, gloves, sleeves, and more. Our newest addition to the store is brand new helmets from Smith, so keep that in mind when shopping for the Mountain Bike enthusiast in your life.

(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

 

We look forward to seeing you (with a mask!) in our store for all your winter needs very soon.