Steep and Deep or Rinse and Repeat?

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A loose ramble on the winter to come.

At Martis Camp, we turn our eyes skyward to gasp at the latest meteor showers, scan the skies for an eagle, or tune in to the latest Technicolor sunset. Gazing is part of the job when it comes to being a Camper. But there’s one other meteorological fixation that captures our imaginations this time of year: snow. Sure, it’s still summertime and jackets and gloves seem a distant thought, but we can’t help but toss out an opinion about the prospects of our winter-to-come. Will the snows come fat and furious? Or will they go easy on our plows? Does it mean anything that the grubs are fatter this year or that your dog’s coat is thicker or that pines are heavier with cones? Do you give credence to the prognostications of The Old Farmer’s Almanac? Or do you stop, as we did last week, when this headline from a Reno newspaper hits you in the noodle:

“El Nino meets the blob — will it help?”

Seriously. We’re not talking about a small child and Steve McQueen teaming up to tackle the national deficit, instead we’re treading into an article addressing the never-before-seen tandem of a 1000-mile-wide by 1000-mile-long stretch of unusually warm water and the weather phenom with the notorious title of El Nino. The consensus of the article and of those scientists closest to the question: “maybe.” Which, once again, leaves us with our favorite clues, hunches, observations and wives tales to throw at anyone willing to listen. It doesn’t help that the calls we’ve placed to local wintertime gurus including squirrels, local yeti and Jack Frost have all gone unanswered; the question remains, as does our perennial preoccupation with predicting the unpredictable.

We at Martis Camp, however, will go out on a limb and suggest you hit the local ski shops before Thanksgiving and tune up your boards. We can’t say there will be epic dumps or a repeat of last winter. We will, however, remind you that we have a neighbor by the name of Northstar California Resort whose army of snow guns is among the nation’s most powerful. And that gives us great confidence in setting aside the debate about whether the blob and El Nino will combine for a double whammy or whether they’ll cancel each other out and, instead, will boldly proclaim that, yes, there will most certainly be skiing.

Written by Scott Mortimore

Video edit Nate Hamill


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