Snow on Skyline Drive
by Clint Gilchrist
October 22, 2004
The clouds finally cleared enough Friday to reveal the aftermath of this weeks snowstorms. Pinedale got very little snow and it melted fast, but you donít have to drive very far to find a lot of snow. Yes, the natives are already snowmobiling. There is now snow in Pinedale (7160 feet elevation). Half Moon Lake has a few inches (7700 feet elev.) and the snow line is half way up Half Moon Mountain. Surveyor Park (8420 feet, White Pine Ski Resort base) has about 6-8 inches. Fortification Mountain (9334 feet, White Pine Top) has 16-20 inches. And rumor has it that Elkhart Park (9415 feet) has as much as 36 inches.
The road is plowed and dry to White Pine Ski Resort. There is snow on the road from there up. Two track ruts have been broken in all the way to Elkhart, but most of the there is no where to turn around and the snow gets deep fast. Many people have snowmobiled up from the upper Fremont Lake overlook and there is a snowmobile track on the side of the road. Please donít drive to Elkhart. It is possible, but there is no where to turn around most of the way and if you meet a vehicle coming the other way you are likely to have to back all the way down. It takes 4-wheel drive anyway.
The snow is wet and very heavy. Many trees have been brought down by the weight, but the roads have been cleared. Even though the heavy snow has settle over the past day, there are still impressive amounts at White Pine Ski Resort. White Pine is closed right now getting ready for ski season. They are aiming to be open about thanksgiving as usual, but they will open as soon as snow conditions allow. For now there is not enough snow, but there is a good base if they can get some more over the top in the next few weeks. From the looks of the forecast, they might just get more next week.
Just as a note, the ski area is closed to snowmobiling. We got these photos from the top because we were getting the web cam at the top back operational and had to snowmachine in to get up there. Snowmobiling is ok on the main Skyline Drive road, just be aware that right now the middle is rutted to bare road and there is only a single snowmobile track on the side, which means if you meet someone coming from the other direction it could get tricky getting past each other on the road.