I was watching sunlight on the Kenai mountains yesterday, and thinking about the massive amount of snow in the high country. That’s when it hit me that we might not be riding over passes until July. Hell, I’ve walked across big snow patches on Resurrection and Devil’s passes as late as Fourth of July weekend, and that was after winters milder than this one.
It’s been a big snow year in Southcentral Alaska. Anchorage averages 63 inches per winter, and we’re over 100 inches so far this season. That’ll mean wet, sloppy conditions for road biking this spring. And unless we get a couple of months of freakishly warm, dry weather, we can pretty much forget an early taste of riding Anchorage dirt on Memorial Day weekend. We’ll be lucky if the Hillside trails are dry enough for the traditional June 1 opening.
Right now, singletrack conditions might be the best we’ll see for the next four months. March is usually the greatest snow-bike riding of the year, and we’re primed for a great month as long as Mother Nature doesn’t hit us with a bunch of nasty, late-winter storms.
I plan to savor the conditions while I can, because the snow trails will be fading in a few weeks, and we’re still a hell of a long way from summer singletrack.