The Return of Tahoe – Update: Ryland Bell

Spark R&D Team Rider Ryland Bell checks in from Tahoe

The past couple of seasons in Tahoe have been…rough. Especially in comparison to the first ten years I was here. There were never any questions that this is where I wanted to be, had to be, really.Tahoe had it all, both snow quality and quantity to go along with amazing backcountry access.

Nearly every storm seemed to dump three feet of that precious white gold on the mountains. I watched snowboard heroes and idols ripping next level lines and airs in my backyard; it changed the way I viewed the world.

Tahoe changed my life, molded me into the person, and rider I am today.

Then things changed…powerful snow was replaced by powerful sun, and warmth. Once magnificent snow banks gave way to green grass and rock. I was forced to travel for my powder fix. It was brutal always thinking any day, any day now the snow will return and legendary lines will again be mine to surf. Those perfect powder days with the terrain to back it up will all come back.IMG_3482

That time is now. It is the Return of Tahoe! I have ridden powder every day here for nearly 2 months. The smiles, the stoke, the energy is back! High fives everywhere you look. Many claims of “all time day” have been heard and face shots are no longer a dream of the past. We have been graced with cycling storms and cold temps since November. It’s not often the south facing slopes are holding feet of blower days after a big dump, but this year has produced just that.The mountains are filling in and the features that make Tahoe famous are constantly evolving with this season’s unique snowpack.

I love to watch cliffs disappearing under a heavy blanket of white with spines forming, and pillows mounding high.

IMG_3530My mornings are now spent on the Sierra Avalanche Center site checking the reports and thinking about new zones.The backcountry is riding good with top to bottom consistency! I’m loving those oh-so-steep, quintessential Tahoe faces gleaming in the first light of a crisp morning, and  long open lanes in perfectly spaced pines So many smiling faces; this is a big change from the past couple winters.

This may not be the norm in these changing times, but I’ll take it. I plan on drinking deep of the fruits of Mother Nature while I can and enjoying the Return of Tahoe. Tomorrow is another day, who knows what it will bring, but for now I’m heading out, splitboard in tow, for another round of snow under my board and powder in my face.


Follow Team Rider Ryland Bell on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with the second half of his winter in Tahoe.