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2013 EpicSki Gathering: Big Sky Montana! - Page 7

post #181 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

Nolo,

 

while Yellowstone would be a cool bonus, IMO the first priority should be ski conditions and the second should be pricing (including airfare pricing/availability if there are big differences from week to week).

 

Later would generally be better for me, but if I end up spending significant time out West next winter, my regular schedule will be out the window...



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post



 

I am in agreement with this but I would add consideration of guide/local Bear availability.  I think one of the best aspects of the Gathering is getting to meet the locals and then benefit from local knowledge.  It would be a shame for us all to converge on the place two weeks before a bunch of the locals would be able to make the party.


These two posts are the major factors any time you plan an event like this.

 

As always, there will be those who throw monkey wrenches into the planning. 

Generally, if the Gathermeister (in this case nolo) is allowed to do her/his thing, then it will serve the major factors well and everyone will have fun. 

No one knows this more than UL, yet he did his thing his way and we were all served well under his Gathermeister reign. 

 

Cheers to those who plan these events

Cheers to those who show up

Cheers to those who guide 

Cheers to those who have fun and don't let the naysayers get under their skin 

 

Throw a dart at a calendar and then warn Montana that the Bears are coming to town!!

beercheer.gif

 

post #182 of 667

beercheer.gif

post #183 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
I am in agreement with this but I would add consideration of guide/local Bear availability.  I think one of the best aspects of the Gathering is getting to meet the locals and then benefit from local knowledge.  It would be a shame for us all to converge on the place two weeks before a bunch of the locals would be able to make the party.

 

Yes, definitely a good tertiary consideration!  For me that might even trump pricing to a large extent, if we're talking $150-200 a night minimums...

post #184 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

beercheer.gif



Sounds like we need seasonal brewpub pricing info as well.

post #185 of 667

It won't hurt to find out what the prices are for the first week in March. I haven't heard back yet. 

 

The points you all raise are very good ones. I expect we'll make a decision by the end of the week. 

post #186 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post



 


These two posts are the major factors any time you plan an event like this.

 

As always, there will be those who throw monkey wrenches into the planning. 

Generally, if the Gathermeister (in this case nolo) is allowed to do her/his thing, then it will serve the major factors well and everyone will have fun. 

No one knows this more than UL, yet he did his thing his way and we were all served well under his Gathermeister reign. 

 

Cheers to those who plan these events

Cheers to those who show up

Cheers to those who guide 

Cheers to those who have fun and don't let the naysayers get under their skin 

 

Throw a dart at a calendar and then warn Montana that the Bears are coming to town!!

beercheer.gif

 


Cheers to those who get married at one of these events!.....on the hill....in a Lodge....during the day.....on a powder day!

 

snowfalling.gif
 

 

post #187 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


Cheers to those who get married at one of these events!.....on the hill....in a Lodge....during the day.....on a powder day!

 

snowfalling.gif
 

 

Hey Tog, here is a picture of the lake since you didn't get to see it all week. 

View from Squaw

560354_10150667767508757_764703756_9446597_803488785_n.jpg
 

 

post #188 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Hey Tog, here is a picture of the lake since you didn't get to see it all week. 

View from Squaw

560354_10150667767508757_764703756_9446597_803488785_n.jpg
 

 


So that's what it looks like?

Never saw anything but white and wind.

Huh....Phil told me that they drained it for the winter...So, they filled it back up to make more snow?? Or is it just a mirage?
 

 

post #189 of 667

I'll be available whichever date you pick in March. My recommendation is early March unless its an El Nino year, in which case SW Montana gets slammed all month long. (I checked through records of La Nina and El Nino years and found the best years I've had here were all El Nino years and the next best were years neither phenomena was in place.....sort of contrary to what one would expect.)

post #190 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post



 

I am in agreement with this but I would add consideration of guide/local Bear availability.  I think one of the best aspects of the Gathering is getting to meet the locals and then benefit from local knowledge.  It would be a shame for us all to converge on the place two weeks before a bunch of the locals would be able to make the party.



Does "locals" mean "Smart locals who ski real good" or do dumb locals who just ski okay count?  cool.gif

post #191 of 667

Quote:

Originally Posted by skibearll View Post

Does "locals" mean "Smart locals who ski real good" or do dumb locals who just ski okay count?  cool.gif


As long as they know the mountain, they can be only slightly smarter than a box of rocks.

When one is herding cats throwing the rocks comes in handy.

 

 

post #192 of 667

Quote:
Originally Posted by skibearll View Post

Does "locals" mean "Smart locals who ski real good" or do dumb locals who just ski okay count?  cool.gif


The only locals Tog worries about are the locals that think everyone can ski where the can. There are lots of places at Big Sky & Bridger you really can't get back out of once you realize you're in over your head.

 

post #193 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by skibearll View Post

Does "locals" mean "Smart locals who ski real good" or do dumb locals who just ski okay count?  cool.gif


The only locals Tog worries about are the locals that think everyone can ski where the can. There are lots of places at Big Sky & Bridger you really can't get back out of once you realize you're in over your head.

 


Nah, it's more the visitors who have to worry about where Tog is. Right Bud?

Of course, if you have Kramelet bindings with balanced poles, everything is fine. Especially if you find Tog's ski down the hill in Big Rock Tongue.

I love Big Sky and have fond memories of skiing there. With many Bears. And perhaps I'll come to the gathering.

Mike
post #194 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibearll View Post



Does "locals" mean "Smart locals who ski real good" or do dumb locals who just ski okay count?  cool.gif




roflmao.gif

post #195 of 667

 

Quote:
I'll be available whichever date you pick in March. My recommendation is early March unless its an El Nino year, in which case SW Montana gets slammed all month long. (I checked through records of La Nina and El Nino years and found the best years I've had here were all El Nino years and the next best were years neither phenomena was in place.....sort of contrary to what one would expect.)

Sorry, gotta call BS on that one.  I have 35 years of Big Sky monthly data.  41 strong El Nino months average 90% of normal.  23 strong La Nina months average 124% of normal.  For Bridger 44 strong El Nino months average 81% of normal and 34 strong La Nina months average 113% of normal.  In terms of correlation to the index Bridger's is quite strong.  http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/La_Nina.htm   Big Sky's is weaker but still favors La Nina. http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/Neutral_areas.htm

 

Quote:
It won't hurt to find out what the prices are for the first week in March. I haven't heard back yet. 

I appreciate that.  I did not consider the first poll particularly valid as that option wasn't presented and it was conducted before someone highlighted March 23-30 was Easter week.  For what it's worth I will attend if the week is starting March 2 or March 16 (on either side of my Snowbird timeshare week) .  As noted before, plenty of people showed up at Tahoe at the beginning of March this year, so I'm not buying that a huge number of those people wouldn't come at the same time next year.  I do agree that if the local guide/organizers have schedule conflicts, that is an important consideration.

 

 

post #196 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

Sorry, gotta call BS on that one.  I have 35 years of Big Sky monthly data.  41 strong El Nino months average 90% of normal.  23 strong La Nina months average 124% of normal.  For Bridger 44 strong El Nino months average 81% of normal and 34 strong La Nina months average 113% of normal.  In terms of correlation to the index Bridger's is quite strong.  http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/La_Nina.htm   Big Sky's is weaker but still favors La Nina. http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/Neutral_areas.htm

 

I appreciate that.  I did not consider the first poll particularly valid as that option wasn't presented and it was conducted before someone highlighted March 23-30 was Easter week.  For what it's worth I will attend if the week is starting March 2 or March 16 (on either side of my Snowbird timeshare week) .  As noted before, plenty of people showed up at Tahoe at the beginning of March this year, so I'm not buying that a huge number of those people wouldn't come at the same time next year.  I do agree that if the local guide/organizers have schedule conflicts, that is an important consideration.

 

 


X2 2U...to quote Living Proof....There are lies...damn lies...and statistics! wink.gif So far the vote is overwhelming to the last week in March.

 

post #197 of 667



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibearll View Post

Does "locals" mean "Smart locals who ski real good" or do dumb locals who just ski okay count?  cool.gif


The only locals Tog worries about are the locals that think everyone can ski where the can. There are lots of places at Big Sky & Bridger you really can't get back out of once you realize you're in over your head.

 



Nah, it's more the visitors who have to worry about where Tog is. Right Bud?
Of course, if you have Kramelet bindings with balanced poles, everything is fine. Especially if you find Tog's ski down the hill in Big Rock Tongue.
I love Big Sky and have fond memories of skiing there. With many Bears. And perhaps I'll come to the gathering.
Mike


I'm not sure how to interpret all this! smile.gif

My point is that if anyone is worried about skiing Big Sky and getting in over their head, they should be no more worried than anywhere else. It's not as if you head down a green and then end up in a 45 degree chute with no choice. A modicum of knowledge is necessary and decent eyes. We once stood at the top of a ridge and the local guides started arguing about which direction we were facing. It was fun. At that time I actually had a compass in my coat pocket, (I was mildly concerned about the "Big" in Sky - my first time there) pulled it out and the "discussion" shifted to the best way to where we were going. That discussion rarely ends till someone gives up, just like families arguing about driving directions.

Upshot: keep the box of rocks in the backpack and you'll be ok.

 

"Big Rock Tongue"? So that's where my world almost ended? See, I was following my own misguided interpretation of what was in front of me. A small 2 foot wind drift was not that at all.

 

 It's not like we're dogs on the deck of the Titanic:

 

22-titanic_dogs_on_titanic-BW.jpg?Thumbnail=true&Width=292&Height=219&RotateFlipType=RotateNoneFlipNone

From the collection of J. Joseph Edgette

RememberingDogs of the Titanic

 

 

 

 

 

post #198 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

Sorry, gotta call BS on that one.  I have 35 years of Big Sky monthly data.  41 strong El Nino months average 90% of normal.  23 strong La Nina months average 124% of normal.  For Bridger 44 strong El Nino months average 81% of normal and 34 strong La Nina months average 113% of normal.  In terms of correlation to the index Bridger's is quite strong.  http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/La_Nina.htm   Big Sky's is weaker but still favors La Nina. http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/Neutral_areas.htm

 

What about weak and moderate effects? 2002-2003 was a moderate El Nino and by far the best ski season at Bridger Bowl since I moved here in 2000. 2011-2012 was a weak La Nina and the worst ski season here in decades according to the locals, definitely the worst since I got here. We've only had one strong La Nina season (2010-2011) since I moved here and it was pretty close in overall quality to 2009-2010, which was a moderate El Nino season.

post #199 of 667

I'd like to commend Nolo for giving everyone the opportunity to express their personal opinions regarding the date. I'd say the issue was vetted pretty well. Never expect a unanimous decision in an internet forum.

 

Now, everybody, take a deep breath and move on. The Gathering is so much more than about the skiing.

post #200 of 667
Originally Posted by Rio View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

Sorry, gotta call BS on that one.  I have 35 years of Big Sky monthly data.  41 strong El Nino months average 90% of normal.  23 strong La Nina months average 124% of normal.  For Bridger 44 strong El Nino months average 81% of normal and 34 strong La Nina months average 113% of normal.  In terms of correlation to the index Bridger's is quite strong.  http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/La_Nina.htm   Big Sky's is weaker but still favors La Nina. http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/Neutral_areas.htm

 

What about weak and moderate effects? 2002-2003 was a moderate El Nino and by far the best ski season at Bridger Bowl since I moved here in 2000. 2011-2012 was a weak La Nina and the worst ski season here in decades according to the locals, definitely the worst since I got here. We've only had one strong La Nina season (2010-2011) since I moved here and it was pretty close in overall quality to 2009-2010, which was a moderate El Nino season.

 

Where are the graphs and charts and while we're at it,  a cute presenter?

 

 

So here's the one thing I could pull out from that page above about El Nino, La Nina:

Quote:

"Ski Areas Indifferent to El Nino/La Nina" - http://gator1314.hostgator.com/~bestsnow/Neutral_areas.htm

Most Northern Rockies areas are favored by La Nina, but there are a few microclimates that are less sensitive. First would be Grand Targhee, which is the most consistent area that I track and doesn't seem sensitive to anything. Sun Valley and Sun Peaks have fairly dry climates that are blocked out of some prevailing weather patterns. It is well known that Sun Valley gets its biggest dumps from the south, and the record El Nino of 1983 was its second highest snow season. I suspect Red Mt. favors La Nina quite strongly even though it doesn't show up in my relatively sketchy data for the area. Big Sky's insensitivity is the other surprise, although Big Sky's weather tends to be independent of other areas, and nearby Bridger Bowl is favored by La Nina.

 

So, it appears that you may be both right or wrong, or it doesn't matter...

See, this is why tv stations know that the cute weather girl is worth more than what she's saying.

 

 

Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

I'd like to commend Nolo for giving everyone the opportunity to express their personal opinions regarding the date. I'd say the issue was vetted pretty well. Never expect a unanimous decision in an internet forum.

 

Now, everybody, take a deep breath and move on. The Gathering is so much more than about the skiing.


You mean we'll be saying "Hasta La Vista Baby!" to Los Ninos?

 


Edited by Tog - 4/12/12 at 9:02am
post #201 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

As a driver, it doesn't matter much which days are travel days but I've heard lots of the fliers comment that it would be better to travel mid-week as the rates are better.

There are places where people actually live, from which you can drive to Montana?


I used to drive (like Bumpfreaq) from Michigan to some place (including Big Sky) out west every spring after snow disappeared in MI. We usually picked a different mountain destination every year.
post #202 of 667

Many people drove from Colorado last time. well several anyway.

post #203 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Many people drove from Colorado last time. well several anyway.


A couple people who joined a group event at Big Sky in Feb drove from Colorado.  Something like 12 hours, weather permitting.

 

post #204 of 667

Flying in the mountains is a crap shoot all winter. Snow accumulation also varies. Last week we flew out of Bozeman on a beautiful, clear, warm, bluebird day and 400 miles to the south we spent most of the day stranded in supposedly snow deprived Denver in a cold, wet, spring snowstorm. The best we can do is pick a time and go for it.

As to the need for beacons - on most days a strong intermediate skier can find something to ski off of every lift including the tram. Also there is plenty of regular blue and green run skiing for those who choose not to test themselves on every run. Most of us (including me) DO NOT belong on the runs (cliffs, chutes and couloirs) that require a beacon. Yes the beacon is required but what you really need is the ability to self arrest in the no fall zones.

post #205 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post


Nah, it's more the visitors who have to worry about where Tog is. Right Bud?
 


duck.gif

 

Heads up!

post #206 of 667

 

Quote:
So, it appears that you may be both right or wrong, or it doesn't matter...

The analysis on the web pages (thanks for noticing the problem with the La Nina page, hopefully fixed now) correlated all months with the MEI index.  Many weather professionals believe that only the strong events have a meaningful predictive value.  So I analyzed the strong La Nina and El Nino months later.  The bottom line is that if 2002-03 was a great season in Big Sky/Bridger, El Nino/La Nina probably had nothing to do with it.  Many factors affect weather, most of them short term, chaotic and no predictable more than a few days in advance.  2010-11 and 2011-12 were both La Nina years, and in most ski regions they could not have been more different in terms of snowfall.  However, both seasons were very good in the historically favored regions of the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.The also favored  U.S. Northern Rockies were not that great in 2011-12, but at least they were close to average and not as severely drought impacted as the regions farther south.

 

Quote:
So far the vote is overwhelming to the last week in March.

Not a particularly well constructed poll, with dates only one week apart and with a price difference.  30 people responded to the poll and 50+ attend Gatherings, including one in late February/early March this year.  I don't claim a poll of first vs. last week of March will come out differently, but it will be a more valid poll in terms of contrasting possible conditions advantages and availability of Yellowstone vs. the price difference.

 

 

 

post #207 of 667

The problem with the first week of March isn't that we didn't add it to the poll (at your request, we went the extra step to compare prices ex post poll posting), but that there are no rooms at the inn and guide availability is poor. 

 

*If any of you want to make these decisions in the future, step up to be Gathermeister and you too will get in on this fun!*

post #208 of 667


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

The analysis on the web pages (thanks for noticing the problem with the La Nina page, hopefully fixed now) correlated all months with the MEI index.  Many weather professionals believe that only the strong events have a meaningful predictive value.  So I analyzed the strong La Nina and El Nino months later.  The bottom line is that if 2002-03 was a great season in Big Sky/Bridger, El Nino/La Nina probably had nothing to do with it.  Many factors affect weather, most of them short term, chaotic and no predictable more than a few days in advance.  2010-11 and 2011-12 were both La Nina years, and in most ski regions they could not have been more different in terms of snowfall.  However, both seasons were very good in the historically favored regions of the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.The also favored  U.S. Northern Rockies were not that great in 2011-12, but at least they were close to average and not as severely drought impacted as the regions farther south.

 

Not a particularly well constructed poll, with dates only one week apart and with a price difference.  30 people responded to the poll and 50+ attend Gatherings, including one in late February/early March this year.  I don't claim a poll of first vs. last week of March will come out differently, but it will be a more valid poll in terms of contrasting possible conditions advantages and availability of Yellowstone vs. the price difference.

 

 

 



As they say in big boy land..."thats how the cookie crumbles"



Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

*If any of you want to make these decisions in the future, step up to be Gathermeister and you too will get in on this fun!*



No good deed goes unpunished. Statistically speaking, you are doing a fine job. icon14.gif

post #209 of 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

The analysis on the web pages (thanks for noticing the problem with the La Nina page, hopefully fixed now) correlated all months with the MEI index.  Many weather professionals believe that only the strong events have a meaningful predictive value.  So I analyzed the strong La Nina and El Nino months later.  The bottom line is that if 2002-03 was a great season in Big Sky/Bridger, El Nino/La Nina probably had nothing to do with it.  Many factors affect weather, most of them short term, chaotic and no predictable more than a few days in advance.  2010-11 and 2011-12 were both La Nina years, and in most ski regions they could not have been more different in terms of snowfall.  However, both seasons were very good in the historically favored regions of the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.The also favored  U.S. Northern Rockies were not that great in 2011-12, but at least they were close to average and not as severely drought impacted as the regions farther south.

 

Not a particularly well constructed poll, with dates only one week apart and with a price difference.  30 people responded to the poll and 50+ attend Gatherings, including one in late February/early March this year.  I don't claim a poll of first vs. last week of March will come out differently, but it will be a more valid poll in terms of contrasting possible conditions advantages and availability of Yellowstone vs. the price difference.

 

 

 



ARGH!

  • First of all, I'm impressed with the patience and effort Nolo put into giving the options, getting three different price quotes. 
  • Second of all, the Gathermeister is someone who volunteers to do this (emphasis on volunteer) and is someone who knows their home area, knows the guide options and general availability of terrain.
  • Third - The overwhelming vote for Big Sky/Bridger Bowl during the vote at Tahoe was to ski Big Sky/Bridger Bowl.  Yellowstone was not a part of the discussion during the vote, and though it may be an interesting option but it is not a deciding factor for as many folks as one may think.  
  • Last but not least - the poll was a generous offer in planning this event.  Generally the Gathermeister plans the date without doing the leg work or offering a poll.  

 

Nolo, thank you for going above and beyond in this stage of planning.  

We will be attending and are excited to revisit Big Sky and Bridger Bowl.  Can hardly wait! 

post #210 of 667

We forgot to include this information in the poll. I feel it is thus incomplete and needs a redo.

 

 

"Radiative Forcing by Anthropogenic Surface Albedo Change: Black Carbon in Snow and Ice"

Quote: Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, 2007, http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-5-4.html

The presence of soot particles in snow could cause a decrease in the albedo of snow and affect snowmelt. Initial estimates by Hansen et al. (2000) suggested that BC could thereby exert a positive RF of +0.2 W m–2. This estimate was refined by Hansen and Nazarenko (2004), who used measured BC concentrations within snow and ice at a wide range of geographic locations to deduce the perturbation to the surface and planetary albedo, deriving an RF of +0.15 W m–2. The uncertainty in this estimate is substantial due to uncertainties in whether BC and snow particles are internally or externally mixed, in BC and snow particle shapes and sizes, in voids within BC particles, and in the BC imaginary refractive index. Jacobson (2004) developed a global model that allows the BC aerosol to enter snow via precipitation and dry deposition, thereby modifying the snow albedo and emissivity...

 

I admit since the IPCC was established partly by the World Metereological Organization and the UN, one of which is in Geneva, the other in New York, it's probably suspect.

At least the Swiss are tops in the construction of sophisticated bunkers and hiding lots of cash and gold. The New York Banks are tops in creating cash from nothing, getting the government to bail them out when their plans run off the rails, and brilliantly depicting themselves as the essence of free marketers and thus Americans. So regardless of how the snow falls they'll both be ok. Because of all that, the article should be given some consideration here as we head to Montana.

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