Cindy’s Nonsense of Snow~

Do you remember Smila who had a “Sense of Snow?” I loved the book and movie about her, and the way she could interpert subtle changes in the snowy region where she lived, that other people couldn’t see or understand.
I unlike Smila, can make no sense of snow.


In fact, I am mildly afraid of snow, oh heck, make that more than mildly.

My fear comes from growing up in Southern California where there is no snow worth speaking about, and traveling regularly to ski various mountains since I was young. Mammoth in the Sierras has more snow than many high mountain ranges.
There is more snow averaged over the years in Mammoth than the Rocky Mountains. Here is the snow looking out the SECOND FLOOR kitchen window in our rented condo unit today.

Here is the snow resting against our second floor balcony’s sliding glass window. This is a moderate amount of snow for Mammoth in that we have not yet reached 300 inches. In seven winters over the past 45 years, Mammoth has received well over 500 inches of snow, and up to 668! Mammoth averages over 300 inches each year. The snowiest European Alps on average get approximately 380-400 inches of snow, while Andermatt in Switzerland gets around 480 inches a year.

I know all this because I am married to a professor of biostatistics who loves to ski.

Here is the ski route out from our condo to the lifts. I get intimidated with snow because unlike Smila, there are a lot of things I don’t know about it, like how to build a snow cave to survive overnight when I get lost on the come-back trail after the lifts close. I often get lost on the come-back trail as the sun starts to set. Once, years ago, I got lost and didn’t find my way back till well after dark.
I have always skied with guys, first my brother, than boyfriends, husband, son, friends of them, and so on. They always ski better than I do and I focus on keeping up and not breaking my bones. When we are on summits, with whipping winds blowing freezing snow-needles into our faces and practically zero visibility, they get strangely hyped up.
“Awesome,” they say.
“Shit,” I think.
“I can’t see anything and I know it’s steep. I’m dumping them after this run and going alone.”
I do this, and then I get lost on the come-back trail.

Skiing with young guys is particularly fun. “No black diamond runs unless you ask me before.” I emphasize.
“No problem,” they say.
We get down a particularly nasty run and I say, “That was horrible. I don’t ever want to do that again.”
“Look at the bright side,” they say, “You just did another black diamond.”


“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
I clearly am not as brave as Eleanore Roosevelt. I don’t want to do something scary everyday. Once a year is quite enough for me, thank you Eleanore!
Cheers to you from the stunning, snowy, and sometimes scary Sierras~

383 thoughts on “Cindy’s Nonsense of Snow~

  1. skiing is something I am not inclined to try, but I am fine with snow. Now ice, that’s another story, These pictures are breathtaking. Enjoy your self and don’t get lost 🙂


  2. Oh my gosh, I have so many wonderful memories of playing in the snow. By the sounds of it, you need to find a group to ski with who is more in keeping with your level of comfort. Skiing in fear is no way to enjoy the experience, trust me, I have been there. Skiing within your comfort level, on the other hand, leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment & the sheer joy of enjoying a magical winter day. Brave you are Cindy!

    1. I get the feeling of accomplishment everytime I survive a day on the slopes! 😉 😉 I really do enjoy the challenge of skiing with my husband and son even though I do get scared. I probably would get bored otherwise!

  3. Excuse my language, but DAMN. That is a LOT of snow. It is beautiful though. Biostatistics… I didn’t even know that was a thing. Very cool. I am not afraid of snow, but I do know that snow can be very destructive. Too much of it on a roof of a building can bring a building down in no time.

    1. I learned too late that is it excellent to pursue an advanced degree in a subject that basically most of the world doesn’t understand. It gets rid of all those pesky corrections the rest of us are forced to suffer through….. 😉

  4. LOL you slay me, love your presentation….I’ll let you do the skiing darling and read about your adventures.. I loved your stats.. I’m married to someone not unlike your hubby, don’t you just love the way the numbers fall off their tongues, it is never just its a lovely sunny day, you get the whole barometric picture and more.

    1. A math head is fun to live with because his cognitive strengths are the diametric opposite of mine and visa-versa, so one of us usually has some idea what we’re doing in any given scenario……. Note, I said, usually! 😉

  5. Wow! That was incredible for the snow that deep or I would say that high. The is over 50′ high. That could easily bury a two story house. I like how smooth looking on the roof though. It just bags for some one to jump in. On the other hand, if you see snow pile up all the way up to the top of the window outside then I would be so scare!

    Nice pictures!!!

    1. Mammoth amazes me with the snow accumulation. Now there is so much powder now, that the danger is hitting an ungroomed area while going fast as it just stops you too abruptly. Also when walking a groomed trail you have to test the snow before you step or you could fall into a drift. It really is stunningly beautiful though, with the sunshine and the bright blue skies.

    1. The biggest bummer about Mammoth is the hordes of crowds during holidays and weekends. Right now the mountain is practically empty, but as we approach the weekend that will change.

    1. I am so glad you validate my fear of snow Alison. When it is especially intense, there is something primal about it, that raises the hair on the back of my neck. All those years of evolution, saying, “get somwhere warm!!” 😉

    1. Shoveling, scraping ice off the windshield, sliding your car in ice, trying to start the car in Jackson Hole with a windchill of -50. Snow and winter can be daunting…… I know you know this much better than I. I only visit the snow to get scared once or twice a year! 😉 🙂

  6. We’re in California! Our first winter in the ancient cabin we bought in Blue Jay in 1988 we experienced the miracle March. Looked just like your pictures. We parked our car heading downhill the night before so we could have gravity’s help getting out if it snowed but when we opened the door the next day all that could be seen of the car was the antenna!

    1. Incredible isn’t it! Gives me goosebumps reading it. It brings up a combination of thrill, amazement and fear in me! But I keep coming back, because there is nothing else like it! It’s good you found the antenna, otherwise you would have to wait for the thaw to see if your car had been stolen.
      I can imagine your call to the police.
      “Our car has disappeared!” you say.
      The police,”Yours and everyone else’s ma’am. Call us back after the spring thaw if you still can’t find it.”

  7. Wow! What fantastic images Cindy, and yes, a bit intimidating. I’m only a cross-country skier so the downhill slopes are unimaginable to me. But, I would sure love photographing this!

    1. I want to try snowshoes tomorrow. There are so many massive drifts all over the mountain, I want to rent some and take my camera and explore. I will carefully mark my path though, and not with breadcrumbs, although that would give me some great bird shots! 😉

  8. That is a lot of snow… Beautiful snow captures! What a winter adventure you had, Cindy.
    Reminded me the ski adventure we had in Colorado. 🙂

    1. Colorado is so beautiful. Telluride is amazing. The one that sticks most in my mind was Jackson Hole with my brother eons ago, when the windchill hit -50F. My husband who I didn’t know then was there at the same time, and he says he remembers me from the chair lift and a conversation I was having with a ski patrol guy about the danger of out of control skiiers. It is a very small world.

  9. Now that’s how I like to see snow. In nice, beautiful pictures! Hard to believe there is none outside my window right now. Here in NE Ohio we seem to have entered the Twilight Zone. Sixty degrees today! (But the cold shall return tomorrow…)

    1. Laughing, yes I can relate to enjoying snow in photos! Have you ever seen the Northern Lights where you are? I hear they can be seen every decade or so. My husband saw them in
      Shaker Heights over Lake Erie.

  10. You are right to be scared. My husband just this weekend, while snowboarding in Tahoe with my son, got off-trail and soon found himself lost in the endless wilderness. All I can say is thank god for Search and Rescue professionals that tracked him down. It could have ended very badly. The Sierra Nevada do not trifle with the inexperienced and many pay for their mistakes with their lives. I thought I was grateful for my life before, but my gratitude has grown manyfold after this sobering event.

    1. Yes. How terrifying for you Eliza, and for your husband and son.
      I am so sorry, but very glad that both were found and all is okay. My son got seriously lost once too. Ski patrol was looking for him. He found his way back on his own but, it was terrifying. I can well imagine how frightened you all were. You, your husband, have my full empathy and understanding and gratitude that he is okay. Skiing has many dangers that shouldn’t be minimized. and son

  11. That’s fearsome big snow, and your photos capture it beautifully. I grew up in Maine and here the snow is not only “recreational” as it is in the Sierras. It’s the maddening damn stuff you have to shovel just to get to work, and the friggin’ stuff that makes roofs cave in. On the other hand, if you’re a kid, it’s a wonderland of snowballs, forts, and coasting downhill. I was on the competitive women’t ski team in High School—everybody then was a skier, and I think it’s an exhilarating, glorious sport….but I like more civilized ski slopes—the kind where you don’t get lost going up and down— and camaraderie rather than scariness. You can’t very well ski with a walker, though, so my days on the slopes are over. I enjoyed your “Nonsense of Snow” very much!

    1. I absolutely am not even a bit surprised you were on the competitive ski team Cynthia. I can easily see you skillfully racing with the same grace and style that you write. What a wonderful way to grow up, and how much better is skiing everyday for a young girl than going to the mall or hanging out on facebook? You were fortunate of course, but it must be very frustrating to be limited now by a bloody walker. At least your incredible mind is free to fly, ski, write, and do whatever it wants to do. Hugs and friendship are flying from my mind to yours Cynthia, from the snowy Sierra peaks to the winter drifts around you in the east.

      1. OMG: Sounds frightening and absolutely wonderful at the same time! Just visiting, I’d love to be in this experience. Is it very cold? How long is the snowy season in Mammoth, I wonder. The photos are great, I can feel the crisp air and my fingers are almost blue from the work outside. Enjoy the rest of your stay!
        Best regards from Norway, the snow is already gone, sad to say … 🙁

    1. You nailed it perfectly Dina, “frighteneing and absolutely wonderful at the same time!” I remember skiing Mammoth in a bathing suit top and jeans when I was young in late May. Skiing is usually still good here through late spring. I can’t believe the snow is already gone in Norway in early February. I am sure you will enjoy the sunshine my friend. Be well~

  12. Oh my gosh Cindy. I have a similar outlook about skiing with my friends too! There I am huffing and puffing about a mile behind them during the whole run (while risking tumbling down some steep slopes because I’m not as skilled as they are – and they would NOT know if I dropped off the face of the earth at that point)… and, when we get to the end, they ask, “Want to go again?” while I give them a withering glance.

    Had fun showing these pictures to my mom today, since recalls similar levels of snow out in the Midwest where my parents lived prior to moving out here. Take care out there Cindy! ~Lynn

    1. Yes, love that bit, where they race ahead of you down a black diamond, and you wipe out, badly. Some stranger helps you. They have no idea. Ask, “What took you so long?” And then, “Let’s do it again!”
      The next morning your so black and blue it looks like you went through a washing machine, which you essentially did! 😉
      grrrrrr……. 😉 😉

  13. Great pics, Cindy. I’ve lived in states all my live where there is always some snow during the winter months, and in California when we lived out there in L.A. 1966-1970 we went up to Big Bear Lake to see snow and play in it. We had plenty in Mo. (K.C.) when I lived there as a teenager, and here in Colorado, my home state and birthplace. But, it is good when we get enough here to keep the mountains saturated enough through winter for the runoff to help keep away drought and wild fires.

    1. Yes, this snow is a God send for California. The Sierra snow pack is critical for California and they still need a lot more, but these big storms have helped a lot. Spring and summer will now look more normal in Northern California. Southern California is still hurting though. We had two small storm cycles and are still in serious drought. I wish the storms would drift a bit south!

  14. I was OK with the beauty until you got to the photo of your second floor balcony. I wouldn’t be able to handle this much snow. I have to get out walking around or I’m not happy… 😐

    1. Getting lost in this situation is terrifying. Just read Eliza Waters comment about her husband who got lost yesterday off trail in Tahoe. With this amount of snow, things get serious, fast.
      But the snow is incredible. I am here with it and loving it more than ever because California has been slowly drying up, and watching this over the past few years is very painful. So now, with this over abundance of snow, I am finally grateful. It means life for the trees, plants and animals in Northern California. Now we just need rain in Southern California which is still drying up. Thank you for your sensitivity.

      1. Snow has a way of disorienting us, since it distorts the natural landscape. It can completely bury a landmark, making it harder to find your way. The cold lowers our body temperature if we are out in it too long. One must really have their wits about them. I hope Eliza’s husband is ok. Any word?

  15. I hear you about the skiing. I totally gave it up because of not being as able as the rest of the group. ..oh, and breaking my wrist on the mountain. That said, I think the snow is beautiful and like it. Looks like you are making the best of it. We live I Bend, OR…skiing Mt Bachelor is one of the reasons my husband wanted to live here. I’ll settle for the beauty and some snowshoes! Have fun!

    1. This is what I want to do! Snowshoe! I will ski tomorrow morning. But I really want to do, is walk through the woods on snowshoes and take photos, and I want to rent snow shoes for the afternoon. I know little about this. Can you give some tips about what I should avoid. I am serious. Like how do your determine what snow is safe to walk on with snow shoes?

      1. Can’t say I am an expert at all. As with anything, use common sense and don’t stray too far from places where there are people (though I love the solitude of it). Take your cell phone. Poles can be helpful. If the snow is very deep andlight, even snowshoes will sink down. Ask about where to go. Even if you are on a show shoe trail, the views can be stunning. May e they offer a group snowshoe to get the hang of it…not hard, but different. They offer on our mountain free, including snowshoes, I will stop now. Let me know how it goes!

  16. What a wonderful post, Cindy! Such beautiful shots – but much easier to look at them on the iPad than than have to grapple with the reality of those conditions!! I get scared if we have a bit of ice outside the front door lol!

  17. What amazing snow. I have been to high mountains in winter in Switzerland but never had so much snow on the second floor. IT looks beautiufl but cold with those beautiful icicles. I would love walk around there and have fun in the snow… not scary.

  18. Beautiful post and photos, Cindy <3 You know how much I love the snow. I see that even if you're afraid of snow, you've been skiing. 🙂 And that's lovely.

  19. I will let you keep all that snow. 😉 Because I don’t want to get lost and chilled in it. Besides it looks so pretty where it is. Have you been dragged off to ski fields in Japan yet? A population destination for our NZ skiers after the snow season ends here.

  20. Visiting my sister in Vermont in the full winter, just a few miles from JAY PEAKE where the snow forecast is streamed constantly across the television screen. Retina warning! Ice storm coming! It started scary but by the end of the fortnight I had tried snow shoeing and loved the snow mobile had a look in an ice hole … fishing to extreme sat in a shed on the ice that a week before was lake Champlain. An experience that I am pleased I took. But skiing with my fear of heights didn’t happen, am I a coward… maybe but the firsts I had were life changing.
    Your post is wonderful as are your photos. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful vignette! Those ice storms are nasty! You did the ice-fishing in the ice-house, how fascinating. I have only seen that on nature videos. What an experience. You are in no way a coward. You just enjoy some things more than others.

  21. Such wonderful snow, blue skies, fantastic photos Cindy. I’m in awe of your braveness. I used to go skiing with my husband, (who is a keen very accomplished skier,) when I was younger, but gave it up after the last time, as I fell down a cliff edge! I was never a particularly good skier, hence the accident, but I do admire those who are so much. Perhaps in another life….

    1. I admire humble people like you more, who don’t brag about themselves. It speaks of a secure and confidant person. If I fall off a cliff, that would be my last time on skiis too! <3 <3

  22. Love the photos didnt ever seeso much snow piled up at doors and windows so whiteand almost flffy looking though realose its not but am a complete nver been near snow etc wots a black diamond run????? Beautiful post thank gou so much just amazed!!! Totally !

    1. So happy you liked the snow and yes it was pure, fresh, un-marred and beautiful just fallen snos. So beautiful! A black diamond run is a difficult run for expert skiiers. They also have double black diamonds but I have never skiied one.

  23. Well this is different from the holler😊. These are truly beautiful photos, not just to look at, because when it melts it helps your parched state. Good for you for getting out there and ‘enjoying’ this amazing bounty.

    1. Northern Califnornia is in much better shape than Southern California. The Holler has received way too little rain and none in the two week forecast. This Sierra snow pack is a God send for NoCal though and it is wonderful to see it again. The last two years were so dry.

  24. I used to like snow very much, because it just belonged to me and I remember well the thriller “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” by Peter Hoeg and thank you for your beutiful post about the sense of snow. Martina

  25. I haven’t seen that much snow since I lived in northeast Ohio. Even there we didn’t see that much snow. At the most we’d have about two feet except in drifts. Further north, they sometimes got more. Beautiful pictures. Young people seem to enjoy a lot of things I don’t have the energy for anymore. 🙂 — Suzanne.

    1. Yes, as we age, we use our energy more carefully and wisely because we don’t have endeless amounts of it. I did talk to an eighty year old German man who lives in Mammoth on the lifts this morning. He skiis when the snow is good and the crowds are low. Smart man. I do notice a lot of older people on the slopes because it is mid-week. By tommorrow the hordes of young boarders will arrive for the weekend, slamming down the mountain at high speeds, often in poor control. This is when I will go snow-shoeing!

  26. I grew up with snow like that, so I had a big smile on my face when I saw the all the beautiful snow. “Smila’s sense of snow” is on my favorite books as well. We have actually snow in the forecast for next week and I am excited. 🙂

    1. Yes, growing up with snow makes all the difference. Smila gave the reader such a feeling for a person fully aware of and competent with all the faces of snow. Fascinating book and so pleased you like it too! Hoping for snow for you my friend~

  27. I didn’t know there was a movie about Miss Smilla. Just loved that book. Am presently reading another awesome book set in the snow, this time in Alaska — “The Quality of Silence” by Rosamund Lupton.

    Beautiful pictures, Cindy 🙂

      1. If you love Alaska books, I’ve another one for you (in fact, one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve ever read) — “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey. The author actually lives in Alaska, so her word-painting of the landscape is incredible.

  28. Oh, those images of the group shoveling snow off the roof reminds me of what we had to do in the blizzard aftermath of a few weeks ago. I like one big snow, and then I’m ready for spring. By the way, I hope for lots of snow in your part of the country to bring the much-needed water. I am so happy that the Sierras are getting much of the white stuff.

    1. Yes, I am very happy for NoCal, now we just need some more rain in SoCal which is still in bad shape! Believe it or not, Mammoth still needs about 60 more inches to have an average year!

  29. These photos don’t look real, but more like postcards. I haven’t seen snow like that since I was a kid. Wow. I don’t believe I would like so much of it anymore if it snowed that much here and now. Fantastic pictures as always. Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. I’m with you, Cindy. Even though I grew up in snow country (of course, nothing like your Sierras!), I’ve never been a fan. And especially after living about 30+ years in the Arizona desert and then in Florida, it hasn’t helped my snow comfort zone any! Yes, it can be beautiful… But, you, my dear, are braver than I would ever be. When I was younger and lived in Logan, UT, I often thought about learning to ski. About the time I’d build up some nerve, people would be coming back to work on Mondays with casts, slings, crutches, etc. Just not my cup o’ tea! LOL!

    1. Yes, watching the ski patrol taboggan come down the mountain with the ski patrolers in snow plow position carrying an injured skiier to the hospital is always a discordant note for me too. On some days, it happens multiple times!

  31. Cindy, your snow pics and story brought back childhood memories of blizzards in Maine. Snow piled high as telephone poles, and snow tunnels out to the street. No school for weeks. Fun for us kids! Also skied those “black” runs in the Italian Alps. Followed the sons down with a pounding heart. Loved hearing them cheer. “Mom made it.” Did get a ski patrol ride down on an icy trail! Not chancing that! Your photos are postcard quality. So beautiful! Elizabeth

    1. I didn’t know ski patrol would do that! They has been a time or two, when I wished I could just stay on the chair and take it back down, but the embarrassment factor stopped me! 😉 😉

  32. Thanks for the snowy pictures. Living in a snowbelt we only average a little over a 100 inches a year. Yesterday, was so warm I was out gardening — yes new plant shoots are coming up and weeds. This is crazy weather for sure. Usually in February, I have to put on snowshoes if I want to go to the compost pile– except for a bit of left over snowbank — we have no snow here. I hope you get some safe fun time on the slopes.

    1. That really was the silliest advice from Eleanore. She could get people killed! “Do something every day that scares somebody else.” Cracking up……..Have you thought of running for PM Graham? I would emigrate and try and get UK citizenship if you only would……

  33. The snow pressing against the glass sliding door reminds me of my niece when she said the tiny alcove, at the back of her townhouse unit, filled with snow one winter from the wind. It took awhile for all the snow (then ice) to melt away.

    Better to stay inside and say, “look at all of the snow” with a warm drink. 🙂

  34. Pretty funny, Cindy. I once had a girlfriend who owned a cabin near Donner Summit. We had a second story entrance, which was the only way we could get into the cabin during the winter. Once it snowed so much we had to dig downward to reach the second floor. Whenever it threatened snow, we went out and put bamboo poles around our vehicle because the vehicle would disappear over night. It wasn’t that we were worried about finding it, we didn’t want the snow plow to eat it. –Curt

    1. I remember skiing Squaw Valley when I was in the eighth grade. There is really nothing quite like the Sierras when she decides to let the snow fly is there. That is a great story by the way. She sounds quite plucky!

  35. Better you than me, Cindy! I’m definitely NOT a fan of all that snow — and the icicles make me shiver. Yes, it’s beautiful…in photos…but I guess I’ve never learned to appreciate the cold. In fact, that reminds me…it’s time for a cup of hot tea!!

  36. Lovely captures of snow. I love snow, was raised in northern Canada where there was always an ample supply. But you are right – snow can be treacherous even as it is beautiful. I think the best way is to respect the beauty and power of snow.

    1. Same with the ocean which I grew up by and am far more comfortable with too! I think lack of knowledge based on familiarity, has a lot to do with my lack of full confidence with snow.

      1. Very perspective, Cindy. What we understand is comforting, even though there dangers. You have reminded me to seek understanding. I love Marie Curie’s take on this: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

  37. I have no use for snow at all. Liked the one pic with the Tiffany lamp,Cuz ! All the others had too much white in them…., maybe overexposed ???? 🙂 Ha!

    1. I was waiting for the comment from you cuz, cuz I know you have strong feelings about the colder climes and snow. I can see out of the top few inches of the window with the Tiffany this evening cuz, so it should take about a month for it to melt, if there isn’t another blizzard! 😉

  38. I would love to see this much snow, If we had it here, we would have no power! I can’t ski, but it looks like there’s be some great cross-country skiing there – and that I can do.

  39. That is the scariest thing I can possibly imagine Cindy. I would be in the lodge/cabin tucked up warm with a good book. That definitely looks like a snow dragon trying to get in your window, hope it is double glazed. Fabulous photos of the icicles

    1. Thank you for understanding. I must say I had an epic day today snowshoeing. It was my second time and I am fully hooked. It has all the things I love. Unspoiled, gorgeous nature, solitude in nature, and exploring in big drifts of untouched snow. I went everywhere, miles and miles and took a zillion photos and now I have a new hobby! I had such fun. It was so still and gorgeous. You would absolutely love it Pauline!

      1. Will look forward to seeing the photos, it sounds an absorbing hobby. You must be very fit I’ve heard snowshoeing is a very energetic sport. Don’t get lost…

  40. These photos are just amazing, they make me want to lie on top and make snow angels, as for skiing with my clutzyness I don’t think I’d dare.
    Thank you for sharing these and your story, I took up jogging once with several boys, I nearly killed myself – so you take care.

  41. The pics are beautiful …I first saw snowfall when I was visiting Finland for business travel … super excited. .I practically jumped out and danced in snow at first sight. …10 minutes into it and I was already started to hate it. .. numb hands, needle like chill! Oh my. … dream crashed. Since then I refuses any business travel during winters! But but yours pics are so beautiful. .. Make me wanna see again

    1. I am surprised the weight of the snow doesn’t break the sliding glass door, but it doesn’t. I am also surprised by how little it melts. The nights are well below freezing, but the days can get up to 40F so I would expect more melt, but it isn’t happening. I am having a lot of fun snowshoeing up and down powder covered mountains and taking photos. I wish I had discovered this before! It is wondrous. Cheers to you and thank you for your lovely comments~

  42. I’m not scared of the snow, but I am scared of the cold winters. After living for six years in humid Nicaragua and then eighteen months in Asia, I feared for my survival come December 2015 and I was in Chicago visiting family. Just in time by Christmas, I escaped unscathed and fled to Myanmar and Bali for the warmth. Ahhhh.
    Love the photos!

    1. Some of my family came originally from Chicago. I have only visited once, in the summer and was amazed by the sticky heat. I have heard the winters can be truly intense, so I can well understand your retreat to the tropics! Stay warm, but not too warm! 😉 😉

  43. Good grief, that is some amount of snow! We get paltry amounts, occasionally, and the country practically comes to a standstill. You’re a braver woman than I to ski at all let alone to tackle the dodgy ones or find your way home by yourself. I’ll just admire the beautiful pictures. 🙂

    1. I bascially have a very deficient sense of direction. I can easily lose my car in a parking lot. So put me in the mountains, late, on skiis, with poorly marked come back trails off the main lift lines, where you have to keep up your speed to keep going, and it is a recipe for me getting lost. It only happened badly once and that was enough to have me carefully study the markers on the trails I am supposed to take. In my defense, both my husband and son complained about the difficulty and my son got badly lost once too. I think they want the come back trails trails to be limited to residents and guests so they hide them. This is a good way to lose a guest or two-too!

  44. yearz ago i took my 1st honeymoon there an used to go to sno cat conferences at mammoth…have even skiied there in august off the gondola believe it er not @ daves run on top of the hill. They opened it for us fer the weekend we were there… take care stay warm! Q

    1. Well, what a small world. I took my first honeymoon here too, and that was years ago as well. Jung would call this a synchronisity and would claim it is significant. Sounds like we both had second honeymoons too, second synchronisity. August is quite late to ski. I remember late June in a bathing suit top and jeans though. I have skiied Dave’s Run many times and that is the run I am referring to in the post. This is the third synchronicity. It was this run I was taken down for the first time without prior clearance and I was not a happy camper! Laughing. Now I have discovered powder snowshoeing and I can trespass all over the mountain, crossing the runs, and heading up mountain off trail and taking photos. Heaven!
      BTB I think snowcat operators are heroes. They have “a sense of snow” and they save lives.

  45. Wonderful photo essay, Cindy! I love how you include the average snow falls around the world and your brave admission of your fear of the pristine white (but deadly) “stuff.” I’m not afraid of snow, but for me, it’s ice…particularly black ice. 🙂

  46. I love to look at snow…. out of a window… but certainly not driving in it and I have never skied… I grew up with snow and that’s enough for me! Enjoyed your photos.

  47. You bring out the greatness of winter with this post (especially your 3rd shot…I wish I could be right in the middle of all that white/cold snow enjoying the serenity of winter 🙂 ). Such a great thing to come back from travels and seeing the places I’d like to see and experience within your posts. Wish you a great year of the Monkey ahead Cindy, and safe travels wherever you go. 新年快乐!猴年大吉!

    1. Hi Randall, wonderful to hear from you. Hope you had a wonderful trip and very much looking forward to seeing your incredible photos and reading your narratives about your experience. Happy New Year to you my friend and hoping it is full of health and more travel!! 🙂

  48. Stunning photos. I live in Florida, but I am from New York and Jersey. I love snow, but the brutal cold penetrates my debilitated body, so in Florida I must stay. Thank you for taking me on this beautiful photo journey.

  49. Thanks for sharing your snowy adventures Cindy. I had no idea CA had so much snow in the mountains! I’ve never learned to relax and enjoy skiing, but I love looking at and playing in snow for a short while. 🙂

    1. I basically don’t love to ski. It’s okay, but it is more something I do because the people I love, love it, so I can fully relate to you Brad. Be well my friend and have a wonderful week!

  50. What a fun post this was, Cindy. I’m still chuckling. I’m with you. I grew up in Wisc. where there was snow, snow, and more snow; and I moved to Calif. to avoid all this, and I don’t miss it. You’re a champ for going to the snowy mtns. Lovely photos, as always.

  51. Hmm, I sympathise. I skied as a child when my father was stationed in Germany and I enjoyed it. Many, many years later, after my mother had died, my father asked me to come with him on his annual skiing trip. I did, but discovered that I no longer enjoyed the thrill. At night I couldn’t go to sleep because of the sensation of falling… My father continued to ski into his eighties and my youngest brother often went with him.

  52. OH MY. That’s a lot of snow! Nothing subtle about it, Cindy. The mountains are beautiful. Building a snow cave is easy, but I don’t recommend it as a rule. 🙂 Have fun and stay warm.

      1. I’m happy the Sierras are getting snow this year. I heard that last year there was very little and even bare spots. When we flew over last spring we didn’t see much snow. The signs we saw at Mammoth in summer said not to park in those places in winter because of ice/snow. I think it meant those giant icicles hanging off the buildings might fall on you!

      2. Mammoth is still below average for snowfall, but there is still time for more storms. SoCal is in terrible shape. We are having about 10 days of 87F days, with no rain in sight. We have had two minor storm cycles in total this year so our drought it getting beyond comprehension. We need rain.

  53. I grew up with snow. Although not that much, when I was little it seemed much deeper. I do scary things more often then I would like, but never thought it brave, just forging ahead. Thanks for the interesting images and thought provoking sharing.

    1. Oh, so much to see and do! Hiking the lakes, visiting Devils Postpile, seeing the San Andreas opening. Uncrowded, inexpensive and pure delight. I want to return too in the late spring, visiting all the dinky towns enroute from So Cal and seeing the Bristlecone Pines, the oldest living trees in the world, over 4000 years old. They are about an hour and a half drive from Mammoth if you’re interested.

      1. Actually we might be able too. We are going to Spain and Portugal for a month in late April so June might be the soonest for us to get to Mammoth and environs. Let’s get in touch nearer the date. Maybe we can go for a hike!

  54. I loved that book and then another called Snow by Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish writer. I hate the word but that snow does look awesome! Oh yes and just finished The Tenderness of Wolves, snow journey in Canada but the woman is from the UK and agoraphobic, and never seen much snow! I would fear snow like that too. Enjoy the skiing!

    1. Thank you, love Pamuk, and that title, “The Tenderness of Wolves,” sounds most intriguing. I will check them both out. Thank you for the leads and be well Georgina. <3

  55. As someone who spent several months in a wheelchair & almost a year in a hip cast (recovery & walking on top of that), thanks to a ghastly 7-break spiral fracture skiing accident, I fear for your safety on black diamond trails that those thoughtless guys you ski with won’t tell you about in advance. Don’t want to scare you more, but worse than alone on the come-back trail is alone half-way down with a bad break. Please tell them it’s a deal-breaker if they do it again. Really. Not. Funny.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    -ADD Coach Training Field founder/ADD Coaching co-founder-
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

          1. Thanks – decades ago now and, except for a “bump” you can feel but not see, I’m fine and rarely think about it anymore. Your article brought the memory back.

            I thought twice about posting my comment, but finally decided to do so out of concern for YOU. A simple “please take care” would probably not have the same effect.
            xx, mgh

  56. That is some serious snow you have there! I love Smilla’s sense of snow too. I love snow, in its place, on the slopes. We gave away all our ski gear when we sold the house and moved on the boat. I used to love to ski but haven’t missed it one little bit. Husband Andy still tells the story of me doing a breast stroke through the moguls in the trees in Vail.

    1. It can be quite intimidating to a SoCal person, going on these annual or bi-annual ski trips since I was a kid at a place where 300″ of annual snow is not enough! I’m getting better with it now, it only took 59 years!!!! Laughing…..Julia Ormand would look good in a sack, but the coat was gorgeous I agree!

  57. First 0f all I like the movie, “A Sense of Smell.” May someday need to read the book. I liked the way you covered both personal and fascinating elements of anow, Cindy. ♡
    I grew up liking snow with 2 brothers who liked to sled and toboggan. We would go “double dutch” 2 on one sled, saucer of toboggan. We 3 were born in 4 years (1955, 57 and 59). Mom snd Dad let us have freedom so we even sled down steep hills into creeks that were (usually) frozen. I loved the sudden jagged drop from the smooth snow to the slick icy creek! I like roller coasters but not round and round rides. Anyway, I skate and used to ski. My brothers cross country ski more as they feel old and bruised. (Artist brother fell off very high scaffolding!) I would love snowshoes and will try snd remember this should I get invited to go “skiing” again. And try alternative routes! 🙂 Hugs, Robin

  58. Cindy, I think you are brave to do all the skiing you do! I grew up in the Midwest, used to snow, yet I have never really liked to downhill ski. The only skiing I will do now is cross-country. But now there’s a new thing – snowshoeing! I’d like to try that someday!

    1. I tried snowshoeing for the first time and I am fully hooked. It is perfect for photography and the snowshoes enable you to go off trail up mountains and down. They are amazing. They have crampons to go up ice and down it, and they hold you like glue. I used powder shoes which also allowed me to go through drifts. I got off by myself which I love. You must try it. It is addicting if you enjoy these sorts of activities.

  59. Wow I can’t believe how high the snow is! That’s amazing! Such wonderful photos Cindy! I didn’t want to comment on them all but the little Meep meep guy is so cute! I love the stripes! So wonderful your travels! 😀 <3

  60. Hi Cindy 🙂 thank you for however you tripped over my posts from other people; thank you is in liking them but primarily in bringing me to this post 🙂 I, like ,Smila, have a sense of snow 🙂 I love it! Yet I hate being cold! I do not use the word hate lightly it is a very strong emotion. Your fear is surely rational, though I compare it to a fear of the sea: I once fell out of a small sailing boat in rather rough waters and knew that though I could see the land in two directions I wouldn’t make it to either shore. I ski a whole lot better than I swim 😉 The forces of nature are immense and like the power of the sea, snow and it’s bosom buddy the freezing cold are beautiful, awe-inspiring and potentially deadly. Our momentary ability to play upon them is in itself equally awe-inspiring. That so many of us do play upon them and very few die is truly quite a miracle in itself. A healthy respect for what nature provides us with and allows our existence alongside is as inspiring as the deepest, longest powder run.
    Thank you for your words that took me to places I wish I was still a part of 🙂

    1. Yes, fear, love and joy are closely linked, just as anger is also a big component of fear. We can’t seem to fully appreciate “positive” emotions one without some awarenss of fear. Fear can be an emotional enhancer. It can make love more poignant, and joy more profound. Too much of it though, can lead to paralysis and depression. Like all human emotion and the actions that stem from, it is matter of moderation.
      Thank you for the thougthful comments~

  61. These are beautiful. I may use some of them in the newsletter. I’m not sure yet. I’d like to confirm though that they are in Mammoth, California. True? Are you in the U.S. now?

  62. I love to see snow in the movies or pictures, though so I did not expect snow will fall in my place, because my body could not be friends with cold temperatures 🙂

  63. Great post, Cindy. I always think snow is the most beautiful thing — when I am safe and warm inside looking out at it. But I remember going snowshoeing and tobogganing with the kids when we were all much younger, and cross country skiing too. Those were delightful times.

    1. I tried snowshoeing for the first time and am hooked on it! It is excellent for photography and so much fun. I am sure your kids must have loved it too and it sounds like you have some wonderful memories!

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