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Dawn Patrol : Early Season Pow Hunting in Tahoe, CA

Photo/video: Ben Birk

This fall, Mother Nature has kicked things into high gear early, and has been dropping snow at a slew of places in the northern U.S. While no resorts are officially open yet, plenty of people have already dusted off their gear and have gotten after it in the backcountry. This week, a wet storm rolled over Tahoe, CA and Ben Birk and a small crew of his friends set their alarms and scored early season pow at Mt. Rose in North Lake.

Check out a few clips from their days of early season boarding, along with a little Q & A  with Birk about what went down.

Riders: Nick Russell, Taylor Carlton, Jeremy Jones, Ben Birk, Justin Mullen, and Silver Serino

Tell us how you and your crew motivated— How did this October pow mission play out?

I had been watching the weather report on NOAA and reading the snow report for the Lake Tahoe region. As the storm approached, we all took different turns driving up to the summit of Mt. Rose to see if the storm had started to drop snow. On Saturday night, Oct 15th, I drove to the summit and witnessed 2-3 inches of wet snow. I knew it was going to be on the following morning so I called up two of my buddies and made plans to meet super early the next morning for our first shred.

Who all was with you in your crew?

My crew the first day was myself, Justin Mullen, and Silver Serino.

How much snow would you say there actually was?

I would say the first storm put down 8-10 inches of wet, heavy snow, and the second storm put down a foot of fluff. So 20-22 inches in total.

Would you say this is the best early season you’ve seen in Tahoe?

Yes, I would say this is the best early season I have seen ever in Tahoe. The wet snow gave us the perfect base. A lot of people reported ZERO rocks hit. Which is outstanding for early season no matter where you live.

Now that you’ve had these few days under your belt already this season, how does it motivate you for the season?

With two days under my belt I am so juiced for more. This storm was a great appetizer but now myself and others are ready to start stepping up to bigger lines and getting back to where we left off in the spring.

Anything else?

The backcountry scene is alive and well in Tahoe. A few bad seasons have left those that have stayed with such a great fire in their belly. Keep any eye on the scene here. Big things are going down this year. Mark my words.

Check out more early season shredding here!