Today I went with the kids to Mount Charleston. The first warning signs where down in the valley, “Snow Tires or Chains Required for Mt Charleston.” So lacking both, we moved forward. Soon cars began passing us on the opposite side of the road with snow on the roof and hood. The kids clamored with excitement. The desert was dusted with snow beginning around the 5000 foot mark (Las Vegas is about 2000 ft.) The stared out the window in awe. As We came now the mountain proper, the temperature dropped and the snow got deeper. Soon the temperature had fallen to the mid-30’s (compared to the low 50’s in the city.) By 6000 feet, the snow as a good three inches deep. The speed limit dropped and we began to look out for black ice. The concerns over ice were soon found to be valid as we passed a car the had slide on ice. By now, the temperature was about 30 degrees and the sky was overcast.
Around the 7000 foot mark we pulled over and the kids had a blast, making snow balls and snow angels. The kids had to be reminded to not throw ice balls at people or the car. Snow began to fall in little flurries as first. But then it began to snow in earnest and it became literally a race against the weather to got off the mountain safely.