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So what region has gotten the best snow thus far? Which resorts have 100% of their trails open?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

Because the northeast is off to such a bad start that it makes me want to cry!

 

Yeah they have some trails open thanks to artificial snow, but Killington has something like 25 out of 125 trails open, and I don't feel like driving for 5 hours for that...I could be wrong though.

 

So has the northwest or Rockies gotten dumped on yet? I've been too busy to keep track of what's going on 1000 miles away!

 

In March I'm going somewhere - if I have enough money and the conditions are still bad in the northeast I will be flying somewhere - perhaps Vancouver.

post #2 of 27

PNW got a ton of November snow, so everything was pretty much 100% a while ago.  However, December has been very dry, with this week finally looking like a return to normal conditions.

 

March is a long way off though, conditions could be excellent or terrible anywhere by then.

post #3 of 27

I think Colorado has finally gotten some snow.  Wolf Creek was 100% open a while ago.  Red Lodge was 100% open as well.  I think Big Sky finally got some snow, but most of us are no where near the level of snow that is normal for this time of year.   Lots of predictions that don't pan out.  

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post

March is a long way off though, conditions could be excellent or terrible anywhere by then.



Perhaps but I plan on getting a lot of skiing in before then - only difference is, financially and time-wise, the northeast is my ONLY option until then.

 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Killington got 10 inches yesterday yet more than half their trails remain closed?

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by twochordcool View Post

Killington got 10 inches yesterday yet more than half their trails remain closed?



lol like 10 inches can open anything!

post #7 of 27
Kicking horse has had over 300cm already. Lake Louise/marmot basin/sunshine village are having a fantastic season. In fact my first day this season was a waist deep powder day.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

lol like 10 inches can open anything!



A lot more than the several inches of rain we've been getting. 

 

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post

Kicking horse has had over 300cm already. Lake Louise/marmot basin/sunshine village are having a fantastic season. In fact my first day this season was a waist deep powder day.


The 300cm is the total amount of snow that has fallen from the sky this season so far but ski resorts report the settled base which is what would be close to the amount of snow on the ground at the top or near the top of the mountain. So Kicking Horse really has about 150cm which is still very good.

 

post #10 of 27

What ski area is 100% open right now:

 

A. Whistler

B. Whistler

C. Whistler

D. A & C

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post

What ski area is 100% open right now:

 

A. Whistler

B. Whistler

C. Whistler

D. A & C

E. Baker
 

 

post #12 of 27

Sandia Peak (small area in Albuquerque, New Mexico) is fully open. Taos has all lifts, but not all the double-black runs, open.

post #13 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

lol like 10 inches can open anything!


Am I the only one who interpreted that, well....differently?

 

 

/On the off chance that it was intended as I interpreted -

-BWPA...you da man!

-I am really glad I didn't grow up in PA, I would have either become a priest or jumped off a bridge by the age of 18

 

post #14 of 27

All 8100 acres of WB have been open for about 10 days, with it coming down pretty good for the past 5 days, which is good as off-piste was pretty hard.

 

When I was there Dec 11-18, they already had 5200 vertical opened for a couple of weeks, and Peak to Creek was in decent shape. Looking forward to some nuking for next week's trip back.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post



lol like 10 inches can open anything!

I would think 10 inches could open up a mountain in the northeast pretty good.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post

Kicking horse has had over 300cm already. Lake Louise/marmot basin/sunshine village are having a fantastic season. In fact my first day this season was a waist deep powder day.


The 300cm is the total amount of snow that has fallen from the sky this season so far but ski resorts report the settled base which is what would be close to the amount of snow on the ground at the top or near the top of the mountain. So Kicking Horse really has about 150cm which is still very good.


I know, I just think 300cm fallen is great. It's all about settled snow pack. If the rocks are covered by Dec, I'm a happy skier.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by twochordcool View Post


I would think 10 inches could open up a mountain in the northeast pretty good.


Some of the older blue trails from the era before snowmaking were graded and rock-picked pretty carefully.  They can open with surprisingly little snow.  

Newer or steeper trails are not lawns underneath, and need more snow.

post #18 of 27

b.c.is almost getting too much snow. Kicking Horse and Revy both had in bound avalanches this week. Last night a patroller from Whistler died from a avalanche (not at the resort, back country) Has been a record breaking warm week with heavy dumps of snow. Temps dropping to normal as of tomorrow. Be careful in the back country. 

 

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post

b.c.is almost getting too much snow. Kicking Horse and Revy both had in bound avalanches this week. Last night a patroller from Whistler died from a avalanche (not at the resort, back country) Has been a record breaking warm week with heavy dumps of snow. Temps dropping to normal as of tomorrow. Be careful in the back country. 

 



Lake louise had an in bounds avalanche a little while ago.  Just off of the Ptarmigan quad at the start of the left tree line. 

 

Never say "Too much snow"....ever.  Bad mojo man.

post #20 of 27

alps.....

The alps have been dumped on this season so far, even though 1 month ago they had nothing, since then many parts have gotten over 100inches

post #21 of 27

another day another avalanche kills a skier in British Columbia. It will take a little while longer as temps drop before all the new snow has stabilized.

A lot of new snow is great but be very careful venturing out into the back country right now.   

post #22 of 27

Beaver Mt is 100% open.

post #23 of 27

Alyeska has gotten 367" since October 1st.

post #24 of 27

http://bestsnow.net/seas12.htm

 

My analysis from FTO a few days ago (updates in italics):

 

We've been lucky in the past 2 decades. The most comparable severe drought early seasons were 1976-77, 1980-81 and 1986-87.

California:
At Tahoe this year is second worst to 1976-77. Mammoth has a bit more snow than Tahoe now but had less in the other 3 seasons. All 3 of the above seasons were worse than now at Mammoth and another 3 (1989-90, 1990-91 and 1999-2000) were similar to now. 5th percentile Christmas at Tahoe and 10th percentile at Mammoth

Utah:
1976-77 and 1980-81 were much worse than this year and 1986-87 was about the same. 10th percentile Christmas. Now worse than 1986-87 because that Christmas week was colder and it snowed 1+ foot on  Jan. 1.

I-70 Colorado:
1976-77 was worse than this year and 1980-81 about the same. 5th percentile Christmas.

Southwest (San Juans and NM):
As we know, these areas are doing OK (Durango and Telluride) or even above average (Wolf Creek and NM) this season. However these areas have had very severe droughts (worse than I-70 this year) through New Year's in 1976-77, 1980-81, 1989-90 and 1999-2000.

U.S. Northern Rockies:
In Jackson 1976-77, 1979-80, 1986-87 and 2009-10 were worse than this year and 1997-98 was about the same. It's snowing there now, so maybe a 15th percentile Christmas. For those with weather paranoia about Christmas, Targhee is remarkable. 1976-77 with 78 inches and 1986-87 with 76 inches are the only seasons with less than 110 inches snowfall before New Years. 130 inches so far this season, not sure if a bit inflated by including October. This region improved last week with 2+ feet of snow most places.

For the areas farther north I have no November data for those earlier seasons. But current percents of normal snowfall are slightly worse than at Jackson, so 15th percentile seems right for everywhere but Schweitzer, which was on the November storm track between the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

Pacific Northwest:
At Bachelor 1976-77 had only 10 inches before New Year's; second worst season was 49 inches in 1989-90. 5 other seasons were below the ~80 inches this year, but 1980-81 and 1986-87 had more. Washington State and Whistler had no snow the first 3 weeks of December but had a good November, ~3 feet this week and all areas are now above average. At Mt. Rainier (season average 633 inches) the 41 inches in 1976-77 was the only season with less than 97 inches (1989-90) before New Year's. Whistler has no early season data for 1976-77 but has continuous data since 1980-81. 77 inches in 1989-90 and 82 inches in 2004-05 are the only pre-New Year's totals under 100 inches.

The Rest of Western Canada:
The lowest pre-New Year's total at Mt. Fidelity in Glacier National Park (season average 483) is 113 inches! Lift serviced snow reliability is less impressive. At Fernie the worst starts in 25 years of data were 54 inches in 2000-01 and 59 inches in 1985-86 with 6 other seasons under 100 inches. At Sunshine the Nov+Dec average is only 90 inches, so interesting that the worst seasons are 47 inches in 2000-01 and 49 inches in 1985-86. This year the areas near the U.S. border are slightly below average while those farther north are above average. 2-3 feet last week, most places well above average now.

Conclusions:
1976-77 was in a class by itself as a Western skiing disaster. All regions except interior western Canada were severely impacted. Furthermore the season stayed bad in California and Colorado all year and in the other regions until mid-February.

1980-81 was worse than this year because the Southwest was bad too and Colorado and Utah were somewhat worse then, offsetting the Northern Rockies being better.

1986-87 is a very close analogy to this season in terms of which regions are bad and to what degree. I-70 Colorado was somewhat better in 1986-87 than now but the Southwest was below average then vs. average+ now.

The Pacific Northwest and especially western Canada tend to be independent of these widespread western droughts. These regions can have bad years too, but they are not that likely to be the same seasons that California and/or the U.S. Rockies are in trouble. The northern regions also tend to get a higher proportion of their snow early season vs California, Utah and Colorado.

Overall 2011-12 is tied for 3rd worst Christmas in the West of the past 45 years. Eastern snowfall is completely independent of western long term. I'd guess the eastern Christmas is 25th percentile judging that 2001-02 and 2006-07 were at least as bad. Put the East and West together and it is indeed a horror show.

 

Alyeska is in great shape, but I count snow from November 1.  Also, the 367 is top of the mountain. Mid runs about 80% of that.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 1/1/12 at 6:29pm
post #25 of 27
Tony,

Historically does a slow start always correspond to a slow mid season or are there just as good odds at things turning around?
post #26 of 27

 

Quote:
Historically does a slow start always correspond to a slow mid season or are there just as good odds at things turning around?

Always is a word that never applies to weather IMHO.

 

Weather tends to persist somewhat in the short term.  Daily snowfall is correlated 38% with the previous day's snowfall in California and 27% in Colorado.  Monthly snowfall is very weakly correlated, only 11% to the previous month and 4% to 2 months previous.   That's close to being random given the high volatility of the data.  So the best assumption is "average snowfall beyond the one week period in the future when weather forecasting is credible." 

 

So in the case of Tahoe, if you assume Jan. 10 is the start of "average snowfall" instead of Nov. 1, you will end up with in late February with an average snowpack typical of mid to late December.  

 

Nonetheless, with over 1/3 of the snowfall season behind us, the most severely impacted regions (Tahoe and I-70 Colorado) are in a deep hole that will take considerable time with only average snowfall to overcome.  I-70 Colorado is very likely to have a truncated season of 1 1/2 to 2 months of good skiing, centered on March.  You can almost forget about the usual long spring seasons in both regions.  Tahoe is historically more volatile.  The 1 1/2 to 2 month season is the most likely scenario, but either a full recovery or a complete wipeout is more likely in the Sierra than in Colorado.

post #27 of 27

Here in the midwest, Gaylord reported the lowest total snowfall for the month of December since they started keeping records:  http://www.freep.com/article/20120102/NEWS06/120102026/Snow-record-low-Gaylord-northern-Michigan?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

 

Fortunately, it's been cold enough for the snowguns to run, and Nubs was almost 100% open over XMas week with three feet of base.   With the snowstorm this past Sunday/Monday the glades are open but with thin coverage.  The Boynes are reported to be struggling.

 

Sounds like things are tough all over, I'm just thankful that my home hill is in good shape.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › So what region has gotten the best snow thus far? Which resorts have 100% of their trails open?