So I ran into a guy named Dan, who has been working on his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, or to the laymen like me, Meteorology. Two things that I learned from Dan where: 1.)the difference between la nina and el nino. I've listed them below:
la niña- [nee’-nyah]noun
1. Pupil of the eye. (f)
2. Little girl, a female child. (f)
3. Tart, whore (prostituta). (f)4. Miss, mistress. (Ante Meridian & Latin American) (m)
1. Child, infant. (m)
2. Person of litle experience or prudence. (m)
3. Master, sir. (Ante Meridian & Latin American) (m)4. (Cono Sur) undesirable. (m)
Why do we care?
Well we don't really, except that I realized that as Dan was talking about it, the only difference was the gender! (Yes, most of you already know I'm a little slow). What I find additionally amusing is definition 3 for la nina... yes I think that directly related to a snow year under la nina very well, where as definition 4 for el nino also directly related to what we are experiencing this year in the Wasatch.
Most Wasatch Powder snobs have been fussing for some time about the rediculously low snow totals. But seriously have we not reached a 100inch base yet? Is it mid January? I understand really I do, but as Dan so elequantly pointed out, it's been time for a el nino for a long time, and finally its here. So what are you doing to deal with it? Yes, if your a really tourer, you would still be piling up the days, just maybe getting creative. One of my best thoughts is to skin up, enjoy a good lunch, then strap your ski's to your back and hike down. Today we tried what was probably my most common thought while skiing and its really simple, running. I mean why not really? bullet proof crust that's only a few feet deep. So we went down to the local store and picked up some yak traction devices. Then we proceeded to drive to a unmentioned trail in Utah county where no one skis.
(http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/5816437/) We ran/slid/post holed/walked for a good 3 hours round trip to do a small, small, run, that had a rediculous rate of accent, I wish I could tell you but I'm not sure exactly. The random number I came up in my head with some simple math was something like 2000ft per mile. My calves would agree with that number, but as always, its probably exagurated.
So all in all we had a great time, and where able to ascend to an incredibly high level due to the low snow cover, and bullet proof crust. When we could go any farther because of cold, trail breaking (in running shoes and shorts--ya didin't think I'd ever be doing that!).
We turned around somewhere a few hundred feet above the second hammagog, and started returning to where we started. After a good distance when we had stabilized at a good pace, I thought to my self, this is easy, why where we breathing so hard and going so slow? (as we look a few thousand feet down to my tiny truck). So I blurted out 'Man, what a bunch of Pussy's!" So there you have it, an excellent winter experience, no ski's, no snow pants, just a cheap pair of yak traks.