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Neither Wind, Nor Snow, Nor. . . Wait, SNOW?

September 22, 2017

The snow level is an important number in Utah in the fall. As the weather turns colder and the fall storms come through, it rains in the valley and snows in the mountains. The line between the rain and the snow is the “snow level.” I live at the foot of a 12,000 foot mountain. As winter storms clear out, there will be a nice white line as if someone turned the mountain upside down and dipped it into powdered sugar.

My house is at about 4500 feet. We typically don’t see snow on my yard until November. I actually kind of like the snow. Especially when I’m sitting in my cozy warm house watching it through the windows.

I won’t be sitting and watching through the windows tonight. I’ll be out in the High Uintas on a camping trip with our boy scouts. The snow level will be between 6,000 and 7,000 feet for tonight’s expected storm.

I’ll be hiking and camping at 10,000 feet. In some ways, it will be good that the snow level is that low. I’d rather camp in snow than rain. This is not the weather we were expecting.

Last year we did this same hike/camp around the same time of year. The weather was perfect. It was about 75 degrees. The sky was a brilliant blue with just a few white puffy clouds. The forest teemed with birds and insects. Truly, one of the most memorable hikes I’ve ever taken in Utah.

I’m pretty sure today and tomorrow’s will be memorable too. But, for very different reasons. I’m packing warm socks and plenty of Hot Hands.

And, in case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m really not complaining about getting out into the Utah mountains for a couple of days.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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