I see you, summer tourists hiking around in the national park in the glorious sunshine. You're talking about how beautiful it is here, and look, there's a ski hill here also. You bet that it is great here in the winter too; in fact, maybe you should MOVE HERE.
Whoa there, partner. Yes, it's fun here in the winter; there's skiing and snowshoeing and the mountains look amazing covered in snow. But here's a secret: It's not very sunny.
We often get long periods of inversions, where a layer of clouds sits over the valley for days. It feels damp and oppressive. This is when a lot of locals make a break for it, heading for Vegas or Hawaii. I drag myself to the gym, feeling surly. I know it's not the worst thing: I spent five winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, and I'll take clouds over -40F anytime. But I miss the sun.
You have to climb to find it. It's there, above the clouds, at about 6000 feet. To get there, you'll need a snowmobile, a long day on snowshoes and skis (It's only about 3000' on the valley floor), or a ski lift. That's the route I chose.
It was only a few degrees above 0, but there was the sun, waiting like an old friend.
I drove back down into the valley and into the clouds. The inversion was still there; it's supposed to persist for several more days. Somehow though, it makes me appreciate the sunshine in a way living in Hawaii never did. You can't count on sunny winter days here. When they show up, they're precious. Cancel the gym, put off those errands. The sun's out!